Full Time
3:00am Sun October 30, 2022
Pool Matches - Week 3 - Kingston Park, Newcastle - Crowd: 6736

Match Overview

An at-times complacent Fiji Bati has booked their place in the quarter-finals by defeating a gallant Scotland side by 30-14 in their final group stage match at Kingston Park in Newcastle.

Fiji had it all to play for in this clash, as they were desperate to not have to wait on other results to be assured of their place in the next round.

They got off to a perfect start as they placed sustained pressure on the Scotland line. Despite some initial resistance. It wasn't long before the Bati crossed for the first time. Taniela Sadrugu continued from where he left off against Italy when he crashed over to score inside the first five minutes. The Bati were guilty of showing a touch of complacency in the opening stages, leaving several scoring opportunities behind in the early going.

Eventually, the might of the forward proved to be too much and it allowed the stars to shine. Henry Raiwalui showed and fooled everyone in Newcastle as he burst through. He then found Villiame Kikau and the big Fijian crossed to extend the margin to 12. Despite having all of the possession, Raiwalui's pass was intercepted by Lachlan Walmsley and the sole try scorer for the Brave Hearts had his second of the tournament to reduce the gap to eight points.

Fiji could say they were on the end of a poor video referee decision when Sunia Turuva was denied a try in the twenty-fourth minute. While the replay showed the ball touching the ground, video referee James Child said he couldn't overturn the on-field decision.

Scotland was able to stem the bleeding until five minutes before the break when Brandon Wakeham's kick was spilled by Walmsley, the ball then ended up in the arms of Raiwalui to cross for the Bati.  But an error from the Bati gave the Bravehearts a big chance on the stroke of the break. From there it was a clever kick from makeshift five-eighth James Bell which found his man in Ben Hellewell and the Scottish side was right in this game at half-time to trail by just 10.

Scotland started the second half in disastrous fashion as Luke Bain hit Turuva with a lazy high shot and the referee dispatched Bain to the sin bin for 10 minutes. Eventually, Fiji made the Bravehearts pay for their lack of discipline as Kikau combined with Maika Sivo to cross in the left corner. However, the Bravehearts capitalised on a Kikau error and Bayley Liu capitalised on some sloppy Bati defence up the other end to score for Scotland.

The match was threatening to boil over and there were a number of push and shoves. The Fijians were incensed by a second high shot on their little fullback as Walmsley took Turuva high. Walmsley was sent to the sin bin for his high shot, but he was joined by Kikau for his part in the melee. Fiji calmed down quickly and it was cult hero Korbin Sims who crashed over to seal an unconvincing victory for the Bati.

Fiji will now advance into the quarter-finals where they'll go head-to-head with New Zealand. Scotland was better in this fixture, although as we've said with all the European nations. They will benefit from consistent international footy.

3. Sunia Turuva

2. James Bell

1. Henry Raiwalui