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Fiji vs Wales

2017 Rugby League World Cup, November 5

Townsville Stadium, Townsville, QLD
Fiji Wales
72 SCORE 6
14 Tries 1
8 Conversions 1
0 Penalty Goals 0
0 Field Goals 0

After a dominant opener, Fiji will be looking to all but confirm their spot in the finals of the Rugby League World Cup when they take on a struggling Wales in Townsville. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:30pm (AEDT).

Fiji took on the United States of America last week at the same venue and put the pedal to the metal, smacking them for a 46-point victory.

The Bati ran up a half-century on the USA and it could have been plenty more given they had 20 points on the board in the first quarter of an hour and seven tries by halftime.

It was an attacking masterclass from the flying Fijians, with Jarryd Hayne, Henry Raiwalui, Apisai Koroisau and fullback Kevin Naiqama leading the way.

However, it was a quiet second half. The game was already over, which could go some way to explaining why, but there is an element of concern that the Fijians couldn’t maintain the rage for 80 minutes.

They may well need to do that against Wales as well, who are now in a fight for survival, needing to win big and have results go their way.

Wales were smoked in their opener against Papua New Guinea last week. Playing in Port Moresby is going to prove to be one of the biggest challenges throughout this World Cup, but the nature of a damning 50-6 scoreline suggests the Dragons simply aren’t up to the task of playing on the global stage.

The question now is whether they can get back up and play more positive rugby league. It’s going to be sapping heat again in Townsville, something obviously not favouring Wales, but they have to find a way to adapt.

Put simply, their defence was woeful and if they play like that again, Hayne – with lethal combinations on either edge featuring the NRL’s top try-scorer Suliasi Vunivalu and boom rookie Marcelo Montoya – will have a field day.

The key for Wales is fullback Elliott Kear, who worked hard in Port Moresby without much luck, as well as captain Craig Kopczak, who must put in an improved performance up front.

Prediction
Fiji shouldn’t have too many problems accounting for the Welsh, but don’t expect them to put in a performance as weak as they did last week – they are a better side than that.

Fiji by 16.

Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this crossover match from 7:30pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.

One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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The Crowd Says (121)

The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

  • 1:14pm
    Big Daddy said | 1:14pm | ! Report

    I am a fan of not having player’s from islands play for Australia. It’s not as if we don’t have enough player’s to choose from. At least the Fijian commit to their country of origin and are very passionate about it. Campbell – Gillard and McGuire would have been very handy for their countries. We do need the lesser countries to be stronger but just imagine player’s playing for their country in qualifying matches and then getting picked for Australia . We can’t have it both ways.

  • 1:05pm
    Big Daddy said | 1:05pm | ! Report

    Would have been good to see Fiji play at least one of their matches in Sydney. Huge following and all we get is 2 in Townsville and 1 in Canberra.

  • 1:11am
    Simon said | 1:11am | ! Report

    Is it just me or has this World Cup been a real blast so far? Particularly the Port Moresby games and the Tonga/Samoa game at Waikato yesterday. Both places without NRL presence

    • 12:04pm
      terrence said | 12:04pm | ! Report

      Yep Simon, it’s been great to watch. Ireland and Lebanon the real surprise packets, but that Samoa/Tonga game was great. PNG going well, Fiji as well.

      Looking forward to a few a the games next weekend as well.

  • 9:52pm
    Dan said | 9:52pm | ! Report

    I tell you what Fiji will fancy their chances against the big 3. If Jarryd Hayne plays are blinder in the semis he will have no shortage of strike power to put on more than a few tries.

    • 11:26pm
      Maestro said | 11:26pm | ! Report

      Can Jim Wilson keep up the adjectives about another great night of 50 point thrashings.

      • Roar Guru

        8:00am
        Sleiman Azizi said | 8:00am | ! Report

        Depends on his abilities with the English language and his capacity to see what is positive…

  • Roar Guru

    9:26pm
    Scott Pryde said | 9:26pm | ! Report

    Thanks for joining Connor, myself and indeed Stuart this evening for The Roar’s live coverage of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup as Week 2 drew to a close.

    We will be back next Friday with Italy and Fiji.

    I’ll also be live from Thursday with the Women’s Ashes between Australia and England.

    Bye for now.

  • Roar Guru

    9:25pm
    Scott Pryde said | 9:25pm | ! Report

    Thoughts on the game Roarers?

    • 12:22am
      Londoner said | 12:22am | ! Report

      I’m suprised you predicted such a close game. Welsh players put the effort in but the gulf in class I would have said 40 plus points not 16. No offence Gurus but you are overestimating the lesser teams.

      League is such a unforgiving sport when one team have dominance.

      Majority of the Welsh team is championship and league one. Championship, apart from the top 4-6 teams is well below NSW / QL cup level….and league one teams are tough players with some skill but way off professional level. I still commend Wales for not heritage doping their team up with a bunch of NSW players with tenuous links to Wales.

      Not sure what we learn about Fiji here. The phrase flat track bully?

      Once they come up against better opposition Hayne won’t find so much space and the backs will not have that extra second before the line hits them. PNG saw that today and David Meade had a quiet game because of it.

      The Italy game will give Fiji a better test before the likely QF….

      • 8:20am
        In brief said | 8:20am | ! Report

        Re heritage players, I wonder how many neutrals realise Fiji, Tonga and Samoa are heritage teams with very few home grown players?

        • Roar Guru

          8:25am
          Sleiman Azizi said | 8:25am | ! Report

          All top players from any nation will gravitate towards the only leagues that can pay them as professional or semi-professional athletes.

          As a result, you are unlikely to find any top of the line player not playing in the Super League/RFL or the NRL.

          Just saying.

      • Roar Guru

        8:31am
        Sleiman Azizi said | 8:31am | ! Report

        The eligibility links are not tenuous – citizenship, grandparent or residency. Just like all other sports.

        Other than that, I agree with your analysis. It’s one thing to be good against a minnow but unless Fiji can grind out a win then the knockout matches will sort them out.

        My view is that if Fiji lose by a lot less than they did last time in the semi-finals, then that will be a great sign for them. Holding a top 3 nation to only a 20-30 point loss will be a good sign.

  • Roar Guru

    9:23pm
    Scott Pryde said | 9:23pm | ! Report

    FULLTIME

    The embarrassment is over for Wales. Fiji have broken their own biggest ever winning margin, running on 14 tries to demolish Wales by 66 points.

    Fiji 72
    Wales 6

  • Roar Guru

    9:23pm
    Scott Pryde said | 9:23pm | ! Report

    80′ – Naiqama brings it away from the scrum for Fiji, before they head back into the middle through the outside backs. Sims then powers Fiji up towards halfway before Vunakece goes short to Kamikammica who is tackled. The kick comes after a run from Milne and Wales come up with it.

    Fiji 72
    Wales 6

  • Roar Guru

    9:21pm
    Scott Pryde said | 9:21pm | ! Report

    78′ – Ten out of ten for initiative there from Wales. Davis puts an early kick over the top for the wing, but it beats Grace over the sideline.

    Fiji 72
    Wales 6

  • Roar Guru

    9:20pm
    Scott Pryde said | 9:20pm | ! Report

    78′ – Not sure Fiji have the will to keep pouring on the points here in the final few minutes. They only just get over halfway before a kick aimed at the sideline from Raiwalui is deflected and Wales come up with it.

    Fiji 72
    Wales 6

  • Roar Guru

    9:19pm
    Scott Pryde said | 9:19pm | ! Report

    77′ – Fiji bringing it up to halfway through their skipper Kopzcak before Evans goes within 30. Now it’s a spread left and Kear is taken to ground. Ansell puts the bomb up, it’s allowed to bounce and then Milne is put on the ground.

    Fiji 72
    Wales 6

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