Australia vs Fiji: Rugby League World Cup semi-final live scores, blog

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    Australia vs Fiji

    2017 Rugby League World Cup, November 24

    Brisbane Stadium, QLD, Aus
    Australia Fiji
    54 SCORE 6
    10 Tries 1
    7 Conversions 0
    0 Penalty Goals 1
    0 Field Goals 0

    Australia and Fiji will meet in the semi-finals of the Rugby League World Cup for the third straight time, with the Kangaroos favourites, but a closer scoreline expected. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 8pm (AEDT).

    The Kangaroos have been superb throughout the World Cup. In their four games so far, they have conceded just two tries – and none in their last two matches including last week’s quarter-final against Samoa in Darwin.

    Mal Meninga’s men beat England in their tournament opener – easily their most difficult game so far, and haven’t taken a backward step since. After demolishing France and doing what they had to do against Lebanon with vastly different looking 17’s in each game, they got their best side back on the field last week.

    Their biggest issue coming into the quarter-finals seemed to be a lack of offensive cohesiveness. With their best 17 back on the park though, those issues seemed to be sorted out in tough conditions and they will now look to put Fiji to the sword.

    In the last two semi-finals between these nations, the Kangaroos have won by more than 50 points.

    Yet, this is a different Bati. Led by Jarryd Hayne, who has played a superb tournament in the halves and their big forward pack, they always looked the more likely team against New Zealand last week.

    There were always questions surrounding their performance in the group stage given their victories over the USA, Italy and Wales were not challenging. They smacked each of those teams convincingly and never looked troubled.

    But last week, they dispelled any myths surrounding them. While New Zealand were far from their best, it was a tryless 4-2 win in the end for Fiji, the Bati defending their line brilliantly.

    If they can find a way to improve on their offensive execution, then there is no reason they can’t produce another shock – an even bigger one than last week.

    However, that’s going to take cohesion and attacking brilliance from Hayne, alongside halves partner Henry Raiwalui, fullback Kevin Naiqama and the dangerous dummy half Apisai Koroisau.

    They are the key. If they can produce points and their forwards can nullify Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Michael Morgan and Billy Slater, then they are in with a chance. Controlling the ruck speed will also be a key.

    Prediction
    Australia should be too strong for the Bati, but this is going to be a reasonably close match I reckon. Fiji didn’t beat New Zealand for no reason and will fight right to the end.

    Australia by 12.

    Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the Rugby League World Cup semi-final from 8pm (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.