Fiji vs Australia Preview

What an unbelievable game this is set to be. The Fijian passion and pride has been second to none, I hand on heart believe that the Bati have helped so many people rekindle their love for the World Cup.

It's rare to see a team that look capable of going man for man with the Aussies, they have Holmes, Fiji have Vunivalu, they have Dugan, Fiji have Uate, they have Morgan, Fiji have Hayne, the list goes on and on. Fiji have strike weapons all over the pitch, Australia have already targeted Williame Kikau as a man to watch, the powerhouse forward has enjoyed an abundance of metres in the tournament so far and will look to get plenty more.

The threat that Australia pose to any side is plain and obvious. They are a well oiled, consistent and efficient machine, breaking them down is a task in itself, never mind defending against them. Versatile and powerful forwards dominate play on the go forward, while the creative spine are the brains behind the operation.

Australia have got arguably their toughest game of the tournament this week, the Aussies were only really challenged by England. Fiji are more than capable of scoring tries but this game will not be decided by attack, defensive resolve will decide who earns the first final spot, if the Fijians show the same level of defensive quality as last week, then we are in for a classic in the making.

Fiji: Being in this position is nothing new to the Fijians, last World Cup they made the semi-final and faced Australia, unfortunately for the Bati they were on the receiving end of an absolute demolition job. This will be used as inspiration in the Fiji camp, as a way of looking at how far they have come, as the scoreline will be not even close to the 64 points to nil hammering they incurred, almost 4 years to the day.

Fiji know that their backs are not going to be a problem in this game, but instead it will be about how their forwards face up to the task at hand. Vunakece has played fantastically through this tournament as has Tui Kamikamica and Williame Kikau to name a few. Fiji's big men are going to have to put in the biggest shift of their tournament so far to help get the Bati downfield, to enable their fantastic try scoring backs to register points. 

Australia: The Aussies will come into this game slightly more nervous than previously anticipated. In terms of Rugby League, Australia fear nobody , they are the team to be feared. This game however, has even the more experienced players feeling a few more pre-game nerves than usual, even Mal Meninga has come out in an interview this week saying that this tuesday's training session was "I wasn't real happy with our session the other day" and "probably our worst training session". Australia will have to hope this isn't the occasion getting the better of this young Roo's side.

Australia are going to use size, to try to out gun Fiji in the middle of the park, packing the bench with; Tyson Frizell, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Wade Graham and Jordan McLean in an effort to over-power the Bati. Australia are going to send a lot of traffic up the middle of the pitch, in an effort to reserve their wide players energy, this is down to how Fiji like to attack, utilizing the the wide men in long well strung together moves. 

Conclusion: I hope this game lives up to the hype surrounding it. Both teams have shown wonderful attack and defence, both teams like to spread the ball about and both teams have shown enough talent to win this game. I would love to see Fiji take the win in this fixture, I just feel that the Aussies are a bridge too far unfortunately. I'm going to have to give this to the Roos by 12 to 20 points. 



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