The Fiji Bati are through to their second successive Rugby League World Cup semi-final after beating Toa Samoa 22-4 in the last quarter-final at Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington today.
After leading 14-0 at halftime the Fijians closed the contest out, sealing victory with a late try to book a showdown with the Kangaroos in the second leg of semi-finals doubleheader The Big Hit at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday morning (NZT).
Vodafone Warriors-bound Jayson Bukuya played the full 80 minutes for Fiji, making 94 metres from 10 carries and adding 30 tackles.
Fijis win creates a repeat of the semi-finals mix at the 2008 tournament but the Bati will want a much-improved showing on what they produced then (a 0-52 loss at Sydney Football Stadium).
The first semi-final at Wembley pits the world champion Kiwis against England (2.00am kick-off NZT). When the two sides met at the same stage at Suncorp Stadium in 2008 the New Zealanders prevailed 32-22.
Toa Samoa 4 (Antonio Winterstein try).
Fiji Bati 22 (Aaron Groom, Wes Naiqama, Vitale Junior Roqica tries; Wes Naiqama 3 conversions, 2 penalties).
Halftime: 14-0 Fiji.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (England).
TOA SAMOA: Anthony Milford; Antonio Winterstein, Tim Lafai, Joey Leilua, Daniel Vidot; Penani
Manumalealii, Ben Roberts; David Faalogo, Micheal Sio, Suaia Matagi; Iosia Soliola, Tony Puletua;
Sauaso Sue. Interchange: Pita Godinet, Junior Moors, Mark Taufua, Mose Masoe.
FIJI BATI: Kevin Naiqama; Marika Koroibete, Sisa Waqa, Wes Naiqama, Akuila Uate; Daryl Millard, Aaron Groom; Ashton Sims, James Storer, Petero Civoniceva (c); Tariq Sims, Jayson Bukuya; Eloni Vunakece. Interchange: Apisai Koroisau, Vitale Junior Roqica, Kane Evans, Semi Radradra.