tmedia
Skip to main content
Main content
Homepage

RLWC Preview: Fiji vs. Italy

FIJI v ITA

Fiji will look to make it three wins from three when they close out their final pool match of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup against Italy in Canberra this Friday.

Less than five days after their emphatic win over Wales in Townsville, Mick Potter’s side will head to the nation’s capital well clear on top in Pool D and all but confirmed in the quarterfinals of the competition. Nearly 100 points clear of Italy on for-and-against, Fiji would need to lose Friday’s game by 45 points or more to not make the quarterfinals — an unlikely feat given the remarkably strong start made to the tournament by Fiji so far.

Top scorers in the competition, Fiji are playing a free-flowing attacking style that, perhaps most scarily, hasn’t even truly tapped in to some of the superstar talents within their squad. Jarryd Hayne has been strong without doing too much, while Akuila Uate and Marcelo Montoya have been overshadowed on the left edge by the Bati’s right wing.

With plenty more weapons still to fire, Fiji look determined to make the most of their strong start to the tournament and will be keen to continue their good form against an Italian side that has struggled to find their best footy with several personnel changes.

The inclusion of Terry Campese in the halves is a boost for Cameron Ciraldo’s men after losing young playmaker Jack Johns early in the tournament, but it may be too little too late; Fiji look in a different class and will be strong favourites to win again this weekend.
 

Pool D: Fiji vs. Italy

MATCH DETAILS

Date — Friday, November 10, 2017

Time — 7:40pm AEDT

Venue — GIO Stadium, Canberra

 

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

 

Italy

Kevin Naiqama (c)

1

James Tedesco

Suliasi Vunivalu

2

Mason Cerruto

Taane Milne

3

Justin Castellaro

Akuila Uate

4

Nathan Milone

Marcelo Montoya

5

Josh Mantellato

Jarryd Hayne

6

Terry Campese

Henry Raiwalui

7

Ryan Ghietti

Ashton Sims

8

Paul Vaughan

Apisai Koroisau

9

Joseph Tramontana

Eloni Vunakece

10

Daniel Alvaro

Viliame Kikau

11

Jayden Walker

Brayden Wiliame

12

Mark Minichiello (c)

Tui Kamikamica

13

Nathan Brown

Joe Lovodua

14

Brendan Santi

Jacob Saifiti

15

Shannon Wakeman

Junior Roqica

16

Joel Riethmuller

Benjamin Nakubuwai

17

Christophe Calegari

Reserves (FIJ) —  James Storer, Salesi Faingaa, Sitiveni Moceidreke, Pio Sokobalavu

Reserves (ITA) — Gavin Hiscox, Richard Lepori, Colin Wilkie, Mirco Bergamasco

 

RLWC STANDINGS — POOL D

 

Played

Won

Lost

F/A

Points

Fiji

2

2

0

+112

4

Italy

2

1

1

+22

2

USA

2

0

2

-92

0

 

HISTORY

Both nations head into this clash looking for a win, having never played the opposing side before, with Italy and Fiji yet to square off in the representative arena.

 

PLAYER TO FOLLOW — Apisai Koroisau, Fiji

Coming off his best NRL season to date for the Manly Sea Eagles, Koroisau has become a gun in the middle of the field, finishing the 2017 NRL season with 952 tackles, the fourth-highest in the competition. Look for the talented young hooker to control the middle of the field and build on his 21 tackles from last week, with Italy likely to demand more ball possession than Wales did. Electric out of dummy half, Koroisau could provide the extra spark required for Fiji in what should be their toughest World Cup game so far.

 

PREDICTION

Italy will have some much-needed confidence in their squad after a shut-out win over the United States, but there doesn’t look to be many teams that can stand in the way of this Fiji outfit right now. With so many weapons across the back-line, as long as Fiji’s pack handles the likes of Nathan Brown and Paul Vaughan, this one should be a fairly straightforward victory for the Pacific powerhouse. Fiji by 34. 

Grab your Wests Tigers Membership today and join us #OnTheBus in season 2018!