• Wednesday 03 June 2020

    Maika Sivo, Kane Evans and Viliame Kikau. [image: NRL]

    After an impressive performance for their clubs in Round 3 of the NRL, Fijian players are expected to once again spark up the competition this week.

    Waqa Blake and Maika Sivo who scored tries for the Parramatta Eels last weekend will once again start as they face the Manly Sea Eagles at 7.30pm Saturday.

    Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Kane Evans have also been named in the Eels squad.

    Viliame Kikau who also scored a try last weekend will start alongside Apisai Koroisau for the Penrith Panthers as they take on fellow Fijian, King Vuniyayawa and the Warriors at 8pm Friday.

    Suliasi Vunivalu is again named in the starting line-up for the Melbourne Storm against the Rabbitohs at 9.55pm Friday. David and Jacob Saifiti will line-up for the Knights as they take on the Canberra Raiders at 6.05pm Sunday.

    Tariq Sims will start for the Dragons as they take on the Bulldogs at 6.05pm Monday.

    [Source: Fiji Village]

  • The Kaiviti Silktails will not feature in the rest of the Ron Massey Cup competition this season.

    This means the Silktails debut win against the Wolves in Lautoka in March was their first and last game of the season.

    New Silktails Head Coach Wes Naiqama confirms financial challenges denied them the chance to complete the season considering the COVID-19 crisis.

    Speaking to FBC News on Monday, Naiqama said,“In regards to New South Wales Cup over there which is their reserve grade and all their junior football that’s all been cancelled for the year so we heard nothing in regards to that but even if that does go forward we won’t take part in the Ron Massey Cup again this year just for that reason funds and money was lost during this period so our focus now is the pathways program”.

    Naiqama adds their focus now is building the game and building the pathways program before they have the trials for next year.

    Meanwhile, in round four of NRL this week, the Roosters play the Broncos tomorrow and there will be two games on Friday with the Panthers hosting the Warriors and the Storm meet the Rabbitohs.

    On Saturday, the Eels meet the Sea Eagles and Cowboys face the Sharks while on Sunday the Raiders take on the Knights and Titans host West Tigers.

    You can watch the LIVE coverage of the Eels and Sea Eagles game on Saturday and the Raiders versus Knights match on Sunday on FBC Sports channel on the Walesi platform.

    The delayed coverage of the Broncos and Roosters game on Thursday will be aired at 9pm on Friday.

    [News Source: FBC News /Akuila Cama]

  • By Navitalai Naivalurua Saturday 06/06/2020 Fiji Bati star Suliasi Vunivalu scored a try for Melbourne Storm as they outclassed the Rabbitohs 22-8 in the NRL last night. Vunivalu's try came after a cross-kick by Jerome Hughes in the 34th minute of the first half. The Storm led the Rabbitohs 8-6 at half time. Other tries for the Storm came from Ryan Pepenhuyzen, Josh Addo-Carr and Justin Olam. The Rabbitohs points came from a try by Alex Johnston and a penalty from Adam Reynolds. In another match last night, the Panthers walloped the Warriors 26-0. Today, the Eels will take on the Sea Eagles at 7.30pm and the Cowboys will face the Sharks at 9.35pm. The Raiders will play the Knights at 6.05pm tomorrow, the Titans will face the Wests Tigers at 8.30pm tomorrow while the Bulldogs will take on the Dragons at 6.05pm Monday.

  • By ERONI TUINUKU | Fiji Times 5 June, 2020, 7:20 pm Fiji Bati veteran Akuila Uate will return to Australia this week after he was released from his contract with the Huddersfield Giants in the Super League because of the impact of coronavirus. The Votua, Nadroga man has one year to complete his contract. Uate, who was a National Rugby League star for the Manly Sea-Eagles and Newcastle Knights, signed a three-year contract with the English club last year, but unforeseen circumstances such as the Covid-19 affected the try scoring machine’s future in the game of rugby league. “I believe it’s a tough decision but has to be made because we never know what the future holds for us international players. “But I had to make a call because I have a family that I need to look after and I still have one year of my contract left but at the same time, I can focus on my training and my family,” said Uate. [Source: Fiji Times]

  • Fiji Bati and Parramatta Eels centre Waqa Blake [Photo: NRL]

    Fiji Bati and Parramatta Eels centre Waqa Blake has escaped suspension despite being charged for a high tackle in their dramatic win over Manly.

    Blake has been charged with a grade-one careless high tackle in Parramatta's 19-16 win at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night.

    However, because of the low grading and his good record he will cop a $AUD550 fine if he enters an early guilty plea or $AUD750 if he unsuccessfully challenges the charge at the judiciary.

    The Eels lead the NRL Standings after claiming four wins in their opening four matches.

    Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will face the Dragons at 6.05 tonight in the final match of Round 4.

    [Source: NRL.COM]

    NRL Round 4

    Date Time Team Team
    Thur 04 Jun 9:50PM Broncos 0 - 59 Roosters
    Fri 05 Jun 8:00PM Panthers 26 - 0 Warriors
    Fri 05 Jun 9:55PM Storm 22 - 8 Rabbitohs
    Sat 06 Jun 7:30PM Eels 19 - 16 Sea Eagles
    Sat 06 Jun 9:35PM Cowboys 16 - 26 Sharks
    Sun 07 Jun 6:05PM Raiders 18 - 34 Knights
    Sun 07 Jun 8:30PM Titans 28 - 23 Wests Tigers

  • Monday 08/06/20201

    Teenage cross-code sensation Joseph Sua-alii is set to become the youngest millionaire in rugby league history.

    The Daily Telegraph reported Suaalii will sign a four-year contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs worth $2 million.

    The 16-year-old will, therefore, earn $500,000 a season and has been tipped to eventually replace Latrell Mitchell at fullback for the Rabbitohs.

    Sua-alii has already represented New South Wales in rugby league, rugby union, AFL and basketball.

    Suaalii is set to sign a AUS$2 million contract with the Rabbitohs [Photo: getty Image]

    Suaalii was playing for the Kings School's first XV side at the age of 14. He has also represented the New South Wales Schoolboys Sevens and Australian under 18s Sevens teams before his 16th birthday.

    Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly is not allowed to sign Suaalii until August but is eager for the opportunity to lock him in.

    Solly says he is not just a very good player but a player you want in your club.

    [Source: NZ Herald]
  • Ratu Akuila Cama 

    Senior Multimedia Sports Journalist | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @AkuilaFBCNews

    JUNE 8, 2020 4:10 PM

    Former Fiji Bati captain Ashton Sims recalls the first time he met his Fijian family in Ba.

    While speaking to NRL.com, Sims who has maternal links to Ba says he didn’t realize that his family is a level of Fijian royalty and it was very emotional and stirring when he finally met them.

    Sims says representing the Bati it was one of the proudest moments of his career and he’s passionate about representing his Fijian heritage.

    The 35 -year -old who is the elder brother of Dragons players Tariq and Korbin and women’s league pioneer Ruan says he has never forgotten the words of Petero Civoniceva after Fiji was thrashed 52-0 by Australia in the semifinal.

    Sims says Civoniceva reminded them that they were doing a great thing for Fijian rugby league, not just rugby league in general, for the kids in Fiji to look up and aspire to a rugby league team that is representing their nation very proudly.

    He adds those words by Civoniceva really resonated with him and that’s why he always put his hands up for Fijian duties.

    Sims says he was lucky enough to play in three World Cups and captained Fiji on one occasion.

    He says those times pulling on the Fiji Bati jersey, he look very fondly on them and cherish them very close to his heart.

    Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will host the Sharks at 6:05pm today in the last NRL round five match.

  • Karalaini Tavi

    Multimedia Journalist Sports Desk | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @KaralainiTaviFBCNews

    APRIL 11, 2020 7:21 AM

    The initial plans to select the Fiji Bati squad for the Pacific Test in October has been changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Bati is set to play New Zealand and Tonga at the end of the NRL season as a build up to the 2021 World Cup.

    Fiji Bati Head Coach Brandon Costin says he originally wanted to monitor the local and overseas player’s performances for their various clubs but this has all changed.

    Speaking to FBC News Brandon said, “My selection process would have revolve around the Ron Massey Cup out of Fiji and how well they adapted to the week in week our competition and how many of those players we would get into that test side and that would give us the whole season to watch the NRL matches as well and make the right decision”

    The Bati is drawn with defending champions Australia for next year’s Rugby League Word Cup along with Scotland and Italy.

    [Source: FBC NEWS]

  • Eels v Panthers at Bankwest Stadium

    Eels: Nathan Brown returns at lock, bumping Marata Niukore to the bench. Ray Stone joins the interchange with Brad Takairangi and Oregon Kaufusi dropping out.

    Panthers: Nathan Cleary's return in the halves means Matt Burton moves back to the bench, with Mitch Kenny out of the 17.

  • Scrums may be scrapped and the NRL's new six-again rule introduced when Super League resumes in a bid to reduce the risk of players contracting COVID-19.

    The changes will be considered by Super League, Championship and League 1 clubs ahead of possible implementation at the next RFL Board meeting in early July to help make the sport safer in the current public health situation.

    The RFL Laws Committee recommended to clubs that they consider the removal of scrums from all fixtures for the rest of 2020, pending further clarification from Public Health England.

    Medical experts on the committee presented strong evidence showing this would considerably reduce the threat of potential exposure to and transmission of COVID-19 between players during matches – and therefore reduce the risk of major disruption to any rearranged fixture list because of positive tests.

    The introduction of the six-again whereby the tackle count is re-started for ruck infringements rather than a penalty being awarded is also viewed as having health benefits.

    Officials believe the increased speed of play-the-balls under the six-again rule would reduce the number of players in each tackle and the amount of time spent in close contact.

    "These are major recommendations, but these are unprecedented times, presenting the game with unique challenges," said RFL CEO and chair of the Laws Committee Ralph Rimmer.

    "The Committee recognised the importance of consulting widely within the game before the recommendations are put to the RFL Board, and that process has already started. But we believe rugby league is well-served by its agility, in terms of being able to consider and implement such significant changes."

    A further three NRL rule changes introduced earlier in 2020 are being considered for the resumption of the northern hemisphere season:

    • When a team kicks out on the full, play will be restarted by a play-the-ball rather than a scrum;
    • The restart following a mutual infringement (such as the ball hitting the referee or a trainer) will be a play-the-ball rather than a scrum;
    • Restrictions on the legal point of contact for a third defender in an upright tackle, which must now be above the knee.

    "The recommendation to adopt a number of the rule changes that have been introduced in the NRL in 2020 will also assist in the important process of aligning the rules across both hemispheres," Rimmer said.

  • By Tifa Vataiki | Fiji Village.Com

    Sunday 14/06/2020

    Suliasi Vunivalu scored as the Melbourne Storm beat the Newcastle Knights - [Photo: Getty Image]

    Suliasi Vunivalu scored as the Melbourne Storm beat the Newcastle Knights 26-12.

    In typical Storm fashion, skipper Cameron Smith was the chief orchestrator in the victory, keeping up the pressure on the Knights who eventually crumbled.

    Smith set up two of the three first-half tries as Melbourne took an 18-2 lead into the sheds, but it could have been more if not for some defensive resilience from the Knights.

    In other matches last night, the Rabbitohs beat the Titans 32-12 while the Canberra Raiders beat the Wests Tigers 14-6.

  • By Naveel Krishant | Fiji Village.Com

    Saturday 13/06/2020

    Fiji Bati star Waqa Blake scored a try as the Parramatta Eels beat the Penrith Panthers 16-10 - [Photo: NRL]

    Fiji Bati star Waqa Blake scored a try as the Parramatta Eels beat the Penrith Panthers 16-10 last night.

    A barnstorming effort from Blake in the 62nd minute started a three-try onslaught in a five-minute period after the Eels had trailed 10-0 with a quarter of the match remaining.

    He also set up a try for his teammate.

    In another match last night, the Warriors beat the Cowboys 37-26.

    Looking at the matches today, the Rabbitohs will face the Titans at 5pm, the Knights will play the Storm at 7.30pm while the Wests Tigers will battle the Raiders at 9.35 tonight.


    NRL Round 5
  • By Tia Roko

    With the announcement of the 47-member extended squad last week, the Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL) CEO Don Natabe is now pushing forward with plans to attend the Rugby League World Cup in October 2021.

    The squad includes 14 resident Fijian players including other contracted players currently in the UK, NZ and Australian NRL and other international rugby league competitions. Interestingly, included are former Cronulla Shark Jayson Bukuya and former Newcastle Knights winger Akuila Uate, despite signaling their retirement earlier this year.

    The FNRL is optimistic with the Fiji Bati being placed in Pool B with Australia, Italy and Scotland. The FNRL also announced that in July 2021, the final squad members will be revealed, with preparations to travel to Australia to meet with the Australian based Bati, then travel to the RLWC.

    The other option is for the Australian-based Bati to travel to Fiji for a week prior to travelling to the UK.

    Yesterday, Fiji news outlets announced Penrith Panthers prop and seasoned Fiji Bati rep Bill Kikau will potentially captain the side into the RLWC.

    What is needed for the side is a bilingual captain who will be able to bridge the communication between resident players and those born overseas. This is a hill that the Bati will need to overcome to ensure a flawless team dynamic by the 2021 World Cup. Coupled with this is good leadership skills.

    Could seasoned Fiji Bati and Melbourne Storm prop Tui Kamikamica also fit the captaincy role? In February 2020, the Melbourne Storm announced Kamikamica’s co-captaincy role at the Perth Nines.

    Watching an articulate interview with Kamikamica reinforces the skilful mentoring and development coach Craig Bellamy has embedded in the Storm’s players, in grooming Fijian players such as Marika Koroibete, Suliasi Vunivalu and Isaac Lumelume.

    Nevertheless, this is a wise move by the FNRL as someone is needed at the helm that speaks fluent Fijian given the increasing number of Fiji Bati residents joining the team.

    The FNRL board push, led by Royal Fiji Military Forces Commander Viliame Naupoto, is pro-Fiji-based players, adding value to the side that was previously dominated by Fijians born overseas.

    Under the helm and leadership of current Fiji Bati national coach Joe Dakuitoga, this side is looking to be exciting and vibrant with players chosen from the local Vodafone competition and from the Kaiviti Silktails, a team currently in preparation for the 2021 Ron Massey Cup, a NSW rugby league competition.

    The franchise is owned by former Brisbane Broncos and Australian Kangaroos rep Petero Civoniceva and business owner Stephen Driscoll.

    The Fiji Bati team is one to watch, as they strategically configure the next few months, with surprise announcements to the 2021 World Cup side.

    Some big names included in the list are Kevin Naiqama, Taane Milne, Semi Valemei, Maika Sivo, Kane Evans, Apisai Koroisau, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Tariq Sims, Korbin Sims, D’Rhys Miller, Daniel Saifiti, Jacob Saifiti, Marcelo Montoya, Mikaele Ravalawa, Brendon Wakeham, Isaac Lumelume and Waqa Blake.

  • Nadroga/Navosa 9s tournament organisers announced a flotilla of rugby clubs set to take part in the January tournament on the 16th. The mega nines tourney confirmed 24 men's team vying for the Men's Cup and 6 women's teams in the feature Women's Nines tournament.

    30 teams will converge at the Prince Charles Park (PCP) in Nadi where top seeds Saru Dragons, Burenitu Cowboys and Namuaniwaqa Cowboys are among 24 teams vying for the main prise. 

    The women's tournament is organised in conjunction with the Kaiviti Silktails Club with an aim to encourage more women participation in the game.

    Fans will be in for a treat during the blockbuster weekend as 300 talents across Fiji are estimated to take part in the tournament. Organisers have organised great entertainment and experiences for children at PCP. Tickets prices for adults $4 and $2 kids. Gates will open at 800am.



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