Fiji shock Samoa to set up Semi Final clash with Australia

Fiji will face Australia in the semi-finals of the Rugby League World Cup after a convincing 22-4 victory over Samoa.


The Bati dominated the opening 40 minutes, taking a 14-point advantage at the interval before overcoming a brief Samoan revival to power through and set up a last four showdown with the Kangaroos at Wembley on Saturday.


The intensity from both teams was there from the off and it took just five minutes for the breakthrough. Fiji's Akuila Uate did well to wriggle free from two tackles before offloading to Aaron Groom who burst through the middle for the opening score. Waisale Ligani Naiqama converted to make it 6-0.


Fiji continued to press forward and when Samoa gave away a penalty Naiqama increased their lead with the successful kick.


As the half wore on defences were to the fore and although Samoa looked to find foothold in the game, the Fijians defended heroically to keep their line intact.


With the first period drawing to a close Fiji increased their lead when Naiqama collected a perfectly weighted grubber from Groom to score and his conversion gave them a healthy 14-point advantage at the break.


When the teams returned for the second half a tactical battle ensued with the two sides completing their sets. The best scoring chance fell to Marika Koroibete who was tackled just short of the line.


Samoa eventually opened their account when some sublime handling enabled Antonio Winterstein to dart over the line, although Anthony Milford was unable to convert.


Tensions were high going in to the final 10 minutes as both teams looked for a decisive score. Samoas attacks were repeatedly thwarted by the tough Fijian defence and when caught on the break, gave away another penalty which Naiqama duly dispatched.


As the seconds ticked away at the end of a pulsating encounter Fiji finally put the game to bed. Great work in the middle released Apisai Koroisau, who did exceptionally well to offload the ball to Vitale Junior Roqica and he crashed over the line. The excellent Naiqama sealed an emphatic 22-4 victory with his conversion.


Samoa Team


1 Anthony Milford


2 Antonio Winterstein


3 Tim Lafai


4 Joseph Leilua


5 Daniel Vidot


6 Penani Manumalealii


7 Ben Roberts


8 David Fa'alogo


14 Michael Sio


10 Suaia Matagi


11 Iosia Soliola


12 Tony Puletua


13 Sauaso Sue


Interchange


9 Pita Godinet


15 Junior Moors


16 Mark Taufua


17 Mose Masoe




Fiji Team


1 Kevin Naiqama


2 Marika Koroibete


3 Sisa Ledua Waqa


4 Waisale Ligani Naiqama


5 Akuila Uate


6 Daryl Millard


7 Aaron Groom


8 Ashton Sims


9 James Storer


10 Petero Civoniceva


11 Tariq Sims


12 Jayson Bukuya


13 Eloni Vunakece


Interchange


14 Apisai Koroisau


15 Vitale Junior Roqica


16 Kane Evans


17 Semi Radradra Turagasoli Waqavatu




Referee: Richard Silverwood (England)


Samoa 4 Try: Winterstein


Fiji 22 Tries: Groom, Naiqama, Roqica; Goals: Naiqama 5


Attendance: 12,766