Fiji vs PNG Tips
PNG will get their chance to take revenge on Fiji exactly seven days after they were beaten all across the park by the Bati.
The Kumuls started the match last Sunday as 8.5-point favourites, however, it is now Fiji that come into this Sunday’s matchup starting 2.5 points in arrears. After last week’s showing the logic is to take Fiji to cover, but the question is did we really see the best of PNG a week ago?
Looking at the backline comparison which made the difference last weekend, I don’t see how PNG are going to be able to compete with Maika Sivo, Mikaele Ravalawa, Sunia Turuva and Waqa Blake. They proved too hard to stop in the first match and that will be the case again this weekend.
With all of that backline power and Jahream Bula floating behind the line, I am going to take the Bati to score over their team total of 24.5 points and cover the 2.5-point line.
When it comes to try scoring, I am backing the boring option and taking Maika Sivo anytime, which should be guaranteed money and is always a huge possibility for the first tryscorer.
- Fiji won by 27 points last Sunday.
- Fiji scored 43 points against PNG last Sunday.
- Maika Sivo scored two tries last game.
- Maika Sivo has scored the first try 12 times in his career.
Head to Head
The Fiji Bati beat the PNG Kumuls 43-16 last Sunday.
Fiji Bati Form
After a mediocre victory over the Cook Islands in the first game of the Pacific Championships, the Bati stunned everyone last week with a comprehensive 43-16 victory over PNG last Sunday.
Fiji put on seven tries to PNG’s three leading at halftime 19-4 and running away with victory in the end.
Both Kurt Donoghoe and Miika Sivo scored two tries for Fiji, with Waka Blake registering two try assists.
Fiji Bati Team News
Sunia Turuva couldn't play last week due to a calf injury, and he was initially set to make a comeback as a significant boost for Fiji by slotting into the centres. However, there are still concerns about his fitness.
If Turuva is unable to play, Mikaele Ravalawa will continue in the centres, and Jason Qareqare will step up from the 18th position to take his place on the wing.
Kitione Kautoga was absent in the match against PNG last week but will return from the bench. He'll be joined by Watisoni Waqanisaravi and Pio Seci.
Penioni Tagituimua and Noah Nailagoliva have been taking turns starting and coming off the bench as the hooker. However, Nailagoliva is not part of the final 17, along with Sirilo Lovokuro.
Mesake Ravonu sustained a head injury towards the end of the game against PNG and has been declared unfit to play.
Fiji Bati Team List
1. Jahream Bula
2. Maika Sivo
3. Sunia Turuva
4. Waqa Blake
5. Mikaele Ravalawa
6. Kurt Donoghoe
7. Brandon Wakeham
8. Tui Kamikamica
9. Penioni Tagituimua
10. King Vuniyayawa
12. Apisalome Saukuru
13. Taane Milne
15. Caleb Navale
11. Kitione Kautoga
16. Gordon Whippy
17. Watisoni Waqanisaravi
21. Pio Sec
18. Jason Qareqare
14. Noah Nailagoliva
20. Sirilo Lovokuro
PNG Kumuls Form
PNG were shocked by Fiji last Sunday, as the Kumuls could not defend the slickness of the NRL caliber backline of the Bati.
PNG also failed to convert their chances inside the Fiji defensive 20 metres, gaining seven more tackles in the ‘redzone’ than Fiji but came away with just 3 tries.
PNG Kumuls Team News
Justin Holbrook has made a single alteration to his starting lineup by substituting Benji Kot with Rodrick Tai in the centres. Nonetheless, there are several adjustments on the bench.
Keven Appo and Edwin Ipape both received fines for a dangerous throw, allowing them to participate in the final. Ipape takes up the hooker position, but Appo is moved to the reserves.
Liam Horne and Nixon Putt were omitted from the team last week but are back in action as interchange players, alongside Junior Rop, who also secures a spot in the 17.
Jacob Allick and Wellington Albert have been omitted from the squad, and MacKenzie Yei won't recover from a knee injury in time to participate.
PNG Kumuls Team List
1. Alex Johnston
2. Robert Derby
3. Zac Laybutt
4. Rodrick Tai
5. Nene Macdonald
6. Kyle Laybutt
7. Lachlan Lam
8. Epel Kapinias
9. Edwin Ipape
10. Valentine Richard
11. Rhyse Martin
12. Dan Russell
13. Jack De Belin
14. Judah Rimbu
15. Liam Horne
16. Junior Rop
18. Jacob Allick
19. Wellington Albert
20. Keven Appo
21. Benji Kot