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RLWC Preview: Fiji vs. Wales

Dan Talintyre

FIJI v WAL

Fjii will look to continue their strong start to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup when they take on Wales this Sunday evening in humid conditions in Townsville.

The Bati were simply superb in their opening pool match against the United States with their 58 points scored the most of any team in the opening round. Mick Potter’s side were dynamic in attack on both sides of the field, and with the likes of Kevin Naiqama and Jarryd Hayne floating around the middle, it was no surprise to see a convincing win.

They’ll look to back that performance up now against a Wales side coming off a heavy defeat to Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby — one that Wales Coach John Kear noted hurt his side physically as they look to recover in time from the bruising encounter.

With PNG and Ireland facing off earlier on in the day, Wales’ hopes at progressing through to the knockout rounds may be over before this game even kicks off — something which, looking positively, could bring out a care-free attitude from the Welsh.

What’s more likely, however, is another dominant performance from the Fijians, who seem determined to improve on their semi-final showing at the 2013 World Cup.
 

Pool C/D: Fiji vs. Wales

MATCH DETAILS

Date — Sunday, November 5, 2017

Time — 7:30pm AEDT

Venue — 1300 SMILES Stadium, Townsville, AUS

 

LIVE STREAM AND TV INFORMATION

Live Stream — Channel 7’s https://7live.com.au/ (Australia only)

TV — Click here for a full country-by-country list of TV broadcasts.

 

TEAM NEWS

Fiji

 

Wales

Kevin Naiqama (capt.)

1

Elliot Kear

Suliasi Vunivalu

2

Rhys Williams

Taane Milne

3

Michael Channing

Akuila Uate

4

Christiaan Roets

Marcelo Montoya

5

Regan Grace

Jarryd Hayne

6

Courtney Davies

Henry Raiwalui

7

Danny Ansell

Ashton Sims

8

Craig Kopczak (capt.)

Apisai Koroisau

9

Steve Parry

Eloni Vunakece

10

Phillip Joseph

Viliame Kikau

11

Rhodri Lloyd

Brayden Williame

12

Joe Burke

Tui Kamikamica

13

Morgan Knowles

Joe Lovodua

14

Matty Fozard

Jacob Saifiti

15

Matthew Barron

Junior Roqica

16

Ben Evans

Ben Nakubuwai

17

Dalton Grant

Reserves (FIJI) — James Storer, Pio Seci, Salesi Faainga, Sitiveni Moceidreke

Reserves (WAL) — Josh Ralph, Ben Morris, Gavin Bennion, Andrew Gay

 

RLWC STANDINGS — POOL C

 

Played

Won

Lost

F/A

Points

Papua New Guinea

1

1

0

+44

2

Ireland

1

1

0

+24

2

Wales

1

0

1

-44

0

 

RLWC STANDINGS — POOL D

 

Played

Won

Lost

F/A

Points

Fiji

1

1

0

+46

2

Italy

1

0

1

-24

0

United States

1

0

1

-46

0

 

HISTORY

Sunday’s game will be the first time that Fiji and Wales have faced off in an international fixture, and the first game for Wales in Australia since the 1975 World Championship Series, where they lost 30-13 to the Kangaroos at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

 

PLAYER TO FOLLOW — Taane Milne, Fiji

Taane Milne was simply unstoppable on the right edge for Fiji against the United States and he’ll be looking to continue his good form here against a Wales left edge that conceded points on a number of occasions to PNG. Milne finished the game with 141 metres, two tries, two linebreaks and two try-assists, and if he can even come close to those numbers again here, it could be a long afternoon for the Welsh defence.

 

PREDICTION

After being beat up by PNG in the opening game, it’s hard to see Wales bouncing back here. Fiji have a different mentality to the World Cup this time around and we can’t see them taking it easy at all — even if the game is well and truly won. Fiji by 52.

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