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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.

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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.