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Total commitment and class by the Fijian side in their first match of the Cup tournament saw them totally demolish the much favoured French side by 42-6 at WIN Stadium this evening.
An emotional song pre kick off by the Fijians set the stage for the entire evening as the players backed up and supported each other time and time again throughout the match from start to finish to never give the French any hope of a victory.
The loss of key playmaker, hooker James Wynne, early in the match with an arm injury was a huge blow for the French and left a huge dent in their attack.
Scoring began early in the game with a penalty goal for the Fijians, followed not long after with a try to Jarrod Hayne, his 1st of two in the game.
Some hard hits by both sides certain to leave battered and bruised bodies long after the full time whistle.
A try midway thru the first half to huge Fijian prop Iowane Divavesi, gave the Fiji side the confidence that never faltered.
The only scoring for the French came in the 30th minute of the match to centre John Wilson gave them a sniff of expectation only to be squashed moments later as the classy Fijian winger Uate crossed the line for his first of 3 tries for the night.
The halftime score of 18-6 had the Fijians well in control. 2 minutes after the break and the floodgates opened as the tiring, bashed French could not match the hard hits and pumping legs of their opponents.
The final score of 42-6, including a hat-trick to Akuila Uate and 2 tries to Jarryd Hayne, certainly will have the critics and the Scottish sitting up and taking notice.
Fiji 42 def France 6 World Cup Week 2 - Saturday November 1st, 2008 5:25pm Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong Referee: Ashley Klein Video Referee: Paul Simpkins Halftime: Fiji 18 France 6 Fiji 42 Tries: Akuila Uate (3), Jarryd Hayne (2), Iowane Divavesi, Semisi Tora Goals: Wes Naiqama (7/10) France 6 Tries: John Wilson Goals: Thomas Bosc (1/1) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Ashton Sims (Fiji) 2 Points: Aaron Groom (Fiji) 1 Point: Akuila Uate (Fiji) LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
A good crowd at Wollongong to witness Fiji's first match of the 2008 World Cup tournament. Plenty of vocal support for both sides. Conditions cloudy but fine. Strong wind in the first half favouring the French.
FIJI BATI: 1. Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels) 2. Semi Tadulala (Bradford Bulls) 3. Wes Naiqama (c) (Newcastle Knights) 4. Daryl Millard (Canterbury Bulldogs) 5. Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights) 6. Alipate Noilea (Parkes Spacemen) 7. Aaron Groom (Canterbury Bulldogs) 8. Iowane Divavesi (Terrigal Sharks) 9. Waisele Sukanaveita (Terrigal Sharks) 10. Ilisoni Vonomateiratu (Parkes Spacemen) 11. Ashton Sims (Brisbane Broncos) 12. Osea Sadrau (Fassifern RLFC Qld) 13. Jaosn Bukuya (Cronulla Sharks) 14. James Storer (Cronulla Sharks) 15. Nick Bradley-Qalilawa (Manly Sea Eagles) 16. Malakai Tuiloa (Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs) 17. Semisi Tora (Parkes Spacemen) 18. Sevanaia Koroi (Wests Magpies) (one to be omitted) Coach: Joe Dakuitoga