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Australia vs Fiji Rugby League World Cup Preview and Team News - Australia to end Fiji's magical run in semi-finals

Andrew Hendrie 22 Nov 2017
  • Australia take on Fiji in the World Cup semi-finals on Friday night
  • Kangaroos have won all five of their previous encounters
Australia face Fiji on Friday

Australia aim to return to the Rugby League World Cup final when the take on surprise semi-finalists Fiji on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Defending World Cup champions Australia look to avoid becoming the latest victim of giant-killers Fiji when the two sides square off in a highly-anticipated semi-final showdown on Friday in Brisbane.

Australia haven’t been tested since an opening round victory over England, easing past France and Lebanon in their remaining group games before crushing Samoa 46-0 in the quarter-finals last week.

So far there’s been absolutely no indication that the Kangaroos are going to suffer an upset loss at the World Cup, with their left-edge especially effective against Samoa as Valentine Holmes ran in a record five tries.

With arguably their biggest rivals eliminated by their opponents on Friday night, it would take a monumental upset for Australia to relinquish their World Cup crown.

Is Fiji ready to back up their extraordinary victory over New Zealand with a similar performance against the best team in the world?

One thing’s for certain, if they lose, it won’t be through lack of effort or desire. Fiji had the tournament’s best attack in the group stage with 168 points, but it was their brick-wall defence that saw them triumph 4-2 over the Kiwis.

Jarryd Hayne will also be determined to produce a big game after being overlooked for the Kangaroos side by Mal Meninga. And when Hayne is motivated, anything can happen…

But, realistically, Australia will likely register a comfortable victory. There’s genuine firepower in the Fiji line-up, including Kevin Naiqama, Suliasi Vunivalu and Apisai Koroisau - along with Hayne - but it will take a mountainous effort for the Bati to hang with Australia over 80 minutes. Back the Kangaroos home for another easy win.

Stats


  • Australia has won all five of their previous encounters
  • Australia have outscored Fiji by a combined scoreline of 282-10
  • Kangaroos have beaten Fiji in two previous World Cup semi-finals in 2008 and 2013

Teams


Australia squad: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Dane Gagai, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Josh Dugan, 5 Valentine Holmes, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Cameron Smith, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Matt Gillett, 13 Josh McGuire 14 Wade Graham, 15 Jordan McLean, 16 Reagan Cambell-Gillard, 17 Tyson Frizell 18 Felise Kaufusi, 19 Tom Trbojevic, 20 Josh Mansour, 21 James Maloney

Fiji squad: 1. Kevin Naiqama (c) 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Taane Milne 4. Akuila Uate 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Jarryd Hayne 7. Henry Raiwalui 8. Ashton Sims 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Eloni Vunakece 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Brayden Williame 13. Tui Kamikamica 14. Joe Lovodua 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Junior Roqica 17. Ben Nakubuwai 18. James Storer 19. Salesi Faingaa 20. Sitiveni Moceidreke 21. Pio Sokobalavau

Tips



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Australia vs Fiji Rugby League World Cup Preview and Team News - Australia to end Fiji's magical run in semi-finals

Australia aim to return to the Rugby League World Cup final when the take on surprise semi-finalists Fiji on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

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