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14 hours ago
Fiji have opened their Rugby League World Cup campaign with a big statement after a 58-12 victory over a gutsy United States side in front of 5,000 fans in Townsville.
Things began well for the Fijians with five tries coming before the twenty minute mark. The first try came in just the second minute when Jarryd Hayne created an overlap from a scrum and Taane Milne scored. Fiji then had another within five minutes when Taane Milne created an overlap and he kicked inside and found Kevin Naiqama who scored.
Taane Milne got his second in the 11th minute before Uate again danced through to score in the corner then Kane Evans added Fiji's fifth try of the night when he got through and scored despite breaking his wrist in the process.
Things looked up from their for the USA with a try coming out for nothing with Matt Shipway stepping his way over the line and USA cut the score back to 26-6. Fiji had a try knocked back
by the Video Referee Steve Chiddy who ruled that Marcelo Montoya was in touch when he grounded the ball.
Fiji put two quick tries on the half hour mark through Kevin Naiqama who beat two coming out from dummy half and Suliasu Vunivalu kept his try scoring run going when he was took big and powerful for USA fullback Corey Makelim to score his first World Cup try and to give Fiji a 36-6 lead at the break.
The second half was a tighter affair with the USA pushing Fiji at times but it was the pacific side who were bring the points and they did so just five minutes into the second stanza when
Akuila Uate put the footwork on for the Hayne Plane to come through to make a landing in the in goal to score his first Fijian try.
The chances kept coming for the Fijians and a few errors blew the chances but on the hour mark, Penrith Panthers big man Viliame Kikau was on the end of a beautiful wrap around play and he got his name on the board and with Taane Milne converting the Fijians went out to a 48-6.
Fiji then backed it up with another two tries through Vunivalu and Raiwalui to extend the lead out to 58-6 before another former Penrith Panther, Junior Vaivai scored a consolation try eight minutes from full time.
Next weekend both sides are again in Townsville with the Fijians taking on Wales meanwhile the USA will come up against James Tedesco's Italy in the early game at Townsville.
Fiji 58 - United States 12
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium
Halftime Score: Fiji 36 United States 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Taane Milne
2 points - Kevin Naiqama
1 points - Viliame Kikau
Tries: Taane Milne (2), Kevin Naiqama (2), Akuila Uate, Kane Evans, Suliasi Vunivalu (2), Jarryd Hayne, Viliame Kikau, Henry Raiwalui
Conversions: Taane Milne (2/3), Apisai Koroisau (5/8)
UNITED STATES (12)
Tries: Matt Shipway, Junior Vaivai
Conversions: Bureta Faraimo (2/2)