Underdogs confident of biting Kangaroos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Underdogs confident of biting Kangaroos

By Adrian Warren 15/11/2008 04:18:48 PM Comments (0)

Rugby League World Cup underdogs Fiji have focused on defence rather than their traditional attacking flair in a bid to upset the hugely favoured Australians in tomorrow's semi-final.

The surprise achievers of the 10-team tournament refuse to get flustered or annoyed by being written off by the pundits before the Sydney Football Stadium clash.

Even talk of being given a 50.5 point start by the bookies produced smiles rather than anger.

"It's a blessing in disguise," Fiji coach Joe Dakuitoga said.

"This is what they did to us against France, but we managed to come out on top, we will do the same against the Australians."

Forward Ashton Sims, who plays for Brisbane in the NRL, said the majority of time training this week had been spent honing their defence.

"We've had about four sessions this week and three of them have been devoted to defence," Sims said.

"The Thurstons, the Smiths, the Lockyers, they will cut you up all day and Billy Slater is in the purple patch of his career.

"I know we are known as flamboyant and mucking around and passing the ball, but defence has been a big key this week.

"Sunday is going to be huge for rugby league in Fiji.

"Obviously rugby union is the No.1 sport over there, but I think this could really put rugby league on the map in Fiji."

Dakuitoga was adamant his team could actually win tomorrow.

"Of course we believe in this, God is going to give us the strength and the courage to come and play against Australia," Dakuitoga said.

"If you look at the start of this competition, everybody wrote us off, we came as underdogs.

"To be here is a big boost for our development back home ... for us to come this far is a big blessing from God.

"At the moment when we call home everybody is talking about Fiji. Rugby league now is the No.1 game at home.

"They have closed all the roads to put up a big screen so everybody can come and watch the game against the Kangaroos, so it's a big boost for Fiji rugby league.

"If you look at us, we're the baby of this. Just 16 years rugby league has been played in Fiji.

"Four months ago before we came to this tournament we set up a goal to reach the finals."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news