Fiji national rugby league team
The Fiji national rugby league team, nicknamed the Bati (pronounced [mˈbatʃi]), has been participating in international rugby league football since 1992. The team is controlled by the governing body for rugby league in Fiji, Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL), which is currently a member of the Asia-Pacific Rugby League Confederation (APRLC). Fiji have thrice reached the semi-finals of the Rugby League World Cup, in 2008, 2013 and 2017, and are currently ranked 5th in the Rugby League International Federation's World Rankings.
|Governing body||Fiji National Rugby League|
|Head coach||Brandon Costin |
|Most caps||Akuila Uate (18)|
|Top try-scorer||Akuila Uate (14)|
|Top point-scorer||Wes Naiqama (132)|
|Home stadium||National Stadium|
| Western Samoa 32–18 Fiji |
(Apia, Samoa; 1992)
| Fiji 72–6 Wales |
(Townsville, Australia; 5 November 2017)
| Australia 84–14 Fiji |
(Marathon Stadium, Newcastle; 12 July 1994)
|Appearances||5 (first time in 1995)|
|Best result||Semi-finals, 2008, 2013, 2017|
The game was introduced to Fiji only in 1992 but despite this there has been a long history of Fijian players making their mark in rugby league, most notably back in the 1960s when great players such as Joe Levula and Laitia Ravouvou joined Rochdale Hornets and became household names in the English competition.
Interest and participation in rugby league snowballed throughout Fiji, and as well as continued success in the World Sevens, the Batis began playing full 13-aside games against international teams. By 1994, Fiji had hammered the Great Britain Amateur tourists (40-8) and, captained by mighty front-rower James Pickering, beat France (20-12).
Fiji took part in their first World Cup in 1995 where, just as the 2000 World Cup, they had the misfortune to be placed in the same group as both England and Australia. But the Batis made a massive impression in their opening World Cup game in which they ran riot against South Africa, 52-6, and had the crowd on their feet at Keighley.
During the Super League war, Fiji, like most countries other countries, aligned itself with Super League. In search of international competition, the Australian Rugby League played a match against a "National Rugby League of Fiji" team in 1996. This match has been granted Test status by the Australian Rugby League, but not by the Rugby League International Federation.
The Fiji Bati qualified for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup held in Australia after finishing second in Pacific qualifying behind Tonga. Fiji's qualification campaign started with a thrilling 30-28 loss to Samoa before reversing the scoreline a few days later with a 30-28 win over the Tongans. Fiji won their final qualifying game against Cook Islands 40-4. Having qualified the Vodafone Fiji Bati team started their Rugby League World Cup 2008 campaign with 42-6 win over France followed by a 2-point defeat to Scotland, however they topped their group with a superior points difference. Beating Ireland in their quarter final they came within one match of the World Cup final, but were defeated by Australia, ending the tournament in 4th place.
Fiji automatically qualified for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup after participating in the 2008 tournament. They took on Australia, England and Ireland in the pool stage. In their first match they took on 'the Wolfhounds'. They played at the famous Spotland Stadium, in Rochdale, where Fiji have an historic affiliation with. The Fijians convincingly won by a score of 32-14. As expected Fiji lost to both Australia and England, although they surprised many, as they only conceded 34 points against the teams in each game and they led 2-0 against Australia, and were within a few minutes of taking a half-time lead against England. Fiji would take on 'fierce Pacific rivals' Samoa in the quarter final. They won the, passionate pacific, fixture and they would celebrate with a 22-4 victory. They celebrated even more, as it meant Fiji reached their second consecutive World Cup semi-final. They took on Australia again, but this game was nothing like the group stage fixture. Fiji's errors conceded them 62 points against a classy Australian side. This defeat ended and equalled their best World Cup campaign in their history.
In May 2014, Fiji took on Samoa in the 2014 Pacific Rugby League Test at Penrith Stadium. The International was created as a qualifier for the final 2014 Four Nations spot. It was also a chance for the Four Nations team (winner of this international) to warm-up before the event kicked off later in the year. Fiji failed to qualify with their fierce pacific rivals getting the better of them by 32-16.
In May 2015, Fiji took on Papua New Guinea in the 2015 Melanesian Cup test at Cbus Super Stadium. Fiji won the match and the inaugural Melanesian Cup title. Fiji never looked like losing the match after an easy first half performance, leading 18-0 at the break. They went on to win the test match by 22-10.
In May 2016, Fiji took on Papua New Guinea in the 2016 Melanesian Cup test at Pirtek Stadium. Fiji had a similar situation in this year's Melanesian Cup with a half-time score of 16-8 but this time around they conceded too many second half points allowing the Kumuls to make a shock comeback and win the match 24-22.
- For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see Fiji national rugby league team players.
Rugby League World CupEdit
|World Cup record|
|Four Nations record|
|2010||Failed to Qualify|
|2014||Failed to Qualify|
|Pacific Cup record|
Fiji have also participated in:
Results and fixturesEdit
- Below are the previous 5 matches of the national team."
|Papua New Guinea||26 – 14||Fiji|
|Try: Rau (2), Olam, Page
Goal: Martin (5/5)
|Report||Try: Montoya, Phillips, Vunivalu|
Goal: Moceidreke (1/2), Raiwalui (0/1)
Australia vs FijiEdit
|Australia||54 – 6||Fiji|
Holmes (18', 24', 42', 51', 65', 75') 6
Gagai (31', 69') 2
Slater (14', 48') 2
(15', 19', 33', 43', 49', 53', 67')
|1st: 22 – 2
2nd: 32 – 4
1 (59') Vunivalu
New Zealand vs FijiEdit
|New Zealand||2 – 4||Fiji|
Shaun Johnson 1/1
|1st: 0 – 2
2nd: 2 – 2
1/1 Apisai Koroisau
1/1 Taane Milne
Fiji v ItalyEdit
Friday, 10 November
|Fiji||38 – 10||Italy|
Suliasi Vunivalu (60', 63', 68') 3
Kevin Naiqama (28') 1
Henry Raiwalui (40') 1
Brayden Wiliame (54') 1
Marcelo Montoya (75') 1
Apisai Koroisau 3/4
(29', 40', 61')
Taane Milne 2/3
Jarryd Hayne (34')
|1st: 12 – 4
2nd: 26 – 6
1 (20') Josh Mantellato
1 (43') Nathan Milone
1/2 Josh Mantellato
(12') Jayden Walker
(34') Joey Tramontana
Fiji v Wales (Inter-Group)Edit
Sunday, 5 November
|Fiji||72 – 6||Wales|
Suliasi Vunivalu (14', 51', 61') 3
Viliame Kikau (22', 40') 2
Taane Milne (31', 56') 2
Eloni Vunakece (6') 1
Henry Raiwalui (16') 1
Salesi Faingaa (27') 1
Marcelo Montoya (33') 1
Jarryd Hayne (42') 1
Joe Lovodua (65') 1
Ben Nakubuwai (70') 1
Apisai Koroisau 4/7
(7', 17', 23', 28')
Taane Milne 3/5
(40', 43', 52')
Suliasi Vunivalu 1/2
|1st: 42 – 6
2nd: 30 – 0
1 (11') Morgan Knowles
1/1 Courtney Davies
- "Fiji vs. PNG 2015 Melanesian Cup". Nrl.com. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "Fiji Bati World Cup squad announced in Suva". rlwc2017.com. 7 October 2017.
- "2018 Pacific Test Invitational schedule finalised". NRL.com. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- "Fiji stun Kiwis to make World Cup semis". Nrl.com. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
- Morris, Dylan (5 November 2017). "Flying Fiji breeze past Wales". NRL.com.