‘Better days ahead’

Action from the Fiji Bati and PNG Kumuls match. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIJI Bati head coach Brandon Costin forecasts a better future for Fiji in the sport.

After winning the Rugby League International Federation Oceania Cup shield after victories against Papua New Guinea (22-20) and Samoa (44-18), Costin said more international matches would help propel Fiji to stardom.

“The win (against PNG) was a big thing for the Fiji Bati,”coach Costin said.

“The only way to learn how to beat Tier One nations is to play against Tier One nations. This is how Tonga has been able to go from strength to strength in recent years.

“In our preparation for the 2012 Rugby League World Cup, the experience of playing against New Zealand and Tonga next year will assist us greatly.”

The Fiji Bati, filled with some NRL big names played copybook tactics to withstand the mighty Kumuls.

The competition scored some upsets with Tonga’s heroics win last week against Australia and Fiji against PNG.

Fiji had big names such as Viliame Kikau, Tui Kamikamica, who scored the first try, Suliasi Vunivalu, Kane Evans and Maika Sivo whom the Kumuls marked The win has promoted Fiji to the Oceania Cup Pool A next year alongside New Zealand and Tonga.

Fiji scored three tries in the first 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji dominate nominees for the 2019 IRLF Golden Boot award The list of 10 nominees includes NZ duo Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

NZ has two nominations while Fiji Bati skipper Kevin Naiqama, Viliame Kikau and Brandon Wakeham. Tonga has Tui Lolohea and Sio Siua Taukeiaho while Australia has Damien Cook and Payne Haas.

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