Fiji crowned world champions with 44-12 win over Australia

Riley Pettigrew Roar Guru

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    Fiji have won the Defence Forces World Cup following a convincing 44-12 victory over Australia in Penrith.

    Bati sent ripples through the rugby league world after capitalising on the Australians who struggling with a high error count. The Fijians’ attack proved too good following four unanswered tries which put them up 22-6 at the break. Ilikena Niumataiwalu and Aaron Joshua Vadiga both putting in impressive showings as Fiji ran away with a 44-12 win.

    Australia had proved themselves as the tournament favourites earlier in the week after a 64-8 win over archrivals New Zealand in Wentworthville on Day 1. Fiji started off their campaign with a 40-20 win over the United Kingdom in St Marys.

    Australia looked convincing on Day 2 against the UK winning 38-12 in Cabramatta while Fiji cruised to a 40-6 win over the Kiwis in Windsor.

    Day 3 saw Australia defeat Fiji to take their place on top of the group with a 38-24 win in Windsor while the UK followed up winning 40-30 over New Zealand, going on to claim third Place in the playoff at Wentworthville with a 36-18 win.

    Meanwhile, Australia have claimed the inaugural Women’s International Defence Force Series with a 3-0 series victory over Anzac rivals New Zealand.

    The Australians opened their campaign with a 40-6 drubbing of the Kiwis in St Marys before returning in Windsor with a 48-26 victory. They confirmed their credentials on Friday in Wentworthville, lifting the silverware following a hard fought 16-12 win.

    The Universities World Cup saw some fierce battles take place. On Day 1, Scotland defeated Wales 48-16 while Australia earnt a 54-10 victory over England in St Marys. Over in Wentworthville, the Pacific Islands were able to stake their claim with a massive 48-4 win over Ireland.

    On Day 2, Scotland overcame Ireland in Cabramatta 38-24 before England defeated rivals Wales 22-4 and Australia proved too good for the Pacific Islands 68-16 in Windsor.

    In a triple-header in Cabramatta for Day 3, Australia confirmed their place at the top of Pool A with a 46-8 victory over Ireland while England defeated Scotland 30-20 and the Pacific Islands moved through against Wales 40-12.

    The semi-finals saw Australia cruise through to the final against England with a 46-8 win while the Pacific Islands continued their fairytale against Scotland 44-12 in Windsor. Earlier in the day, Wales overcame Ireland to take fifth place 28-16.

    In the end Australia ultimately proved too good for the Pacific Islands despite improvements on their first meeting, winning the final 30-12 in Penrith to defend their title.

    Elsewhere in the world of international rugby league, the Super Liga 13, Chile’s domestic rugby league competition, has been launched with six clubs joining including the Negrete Mariman, Angol Toros, Nacimiento Awkan, Yumbel Maquinarias, the Dragones and Longkos.

    In addition, the Solomon Islands will host its first ever rugby league Test match when they host Vanuatu in Honiara in October. It will be the third time the two nations have met with Vanuatu having won on the previous two encounters. It comes ahead of next year’s Emerging Nations World Championships to be held in Sydney. Vanuatu is currently ranked 37th and Solomon Islands 40th.

    The USA Hawks have named seven debutants in their team to take on Jamaica next weekend in Jacksonville. Among Sean Rutgerson’s 18-man squad are familiar names Junior Vaivai and Kristian Freed.

    USA Hawks: 1. Gabriel Farley, 2. Marcus Satavu, 3. Junior Vaivai, 4. Taylor Alley, 5. Jonathan St John, 6. Dominic DeFalco, 7. Matt Walsh, 8. Joshua Rice, 9. Kristian Freed, 10. Andrew Kneisly, 11. Fotukava Malu, 12. David Ulch, 13. Nicholas Newlin
    14. Sean Hunt, 15. Martwain Johnson, 16. Bart Longchamp, 17. Chris Frazier, 18. Terrance Williams

    It is hoped that there will be a number of players from the USARL representing their nation in the Rugby League World Cup at the end of the year.

    Finally, Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga yesterday launched a new initiative by naming a Kangaroos Origin Merit Squad. Meninga and selectors Bob Fulton and Darren Lockyer chose a total of nine Queenslanders and eight New South Welshmen, with Origin I man of the match Andrew Fifita a notable absentee.

    Kanagroos Merit Team: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Dane Gagai, 3. William Chambers, 4. Josh Dugan, 5. James Tedesco, 6. James Maloney, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Dylan Napa, 11. Matt Gillett, 12. Boyd Cordner, 13. Josh McGuire

    14. Michael Morgan, 15. Tyson Frizell, 16. Jake Trbojevic, 17. Josh Jackson

    Australia face a stern test in their World Cup defence having been drawn in Pool A against world No.3 England as well as France and Lebanon.