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Fiji Bati hopes to rise again

Vodafone Fiji Bati coach Mick Potter believes Fiji is a giant-killer.

"We got the number two ranked team in the competition, whether we can back it up or not is another thing," Potter said.

His comments come as senior player Eloni Vunakece said the team would rise to the occasion when they play against the mighty Australian Kangaroos tomorrow at Suncorp Stadium.

"Rise to the occasion. That has been the theme of this whole camp, hopefully we will do the same against Australia," Vunakece said.

"There is no extra pressure, my old man said just go and have fun."

"This is another opportunity to meat another world heavyweight, play and have fun and live the moment.

"I take each day as it comes."

Vunakece reminisced the last eight minutes of the side's 4-2 victory over the NZ Kiwis in Wellington, New Zealand last week.

"We were pretty smashed, but we knew we had to keep getting up," he said.

"Thankfully I did two NRL pre-seasons now and they train us to be ready for those occasions, to be ready to draw on something when you are dead and got nothing left.

"Probably with eight minutes to go there was a drop out, I looked to the sideline to say….you have got to get me off because I got nothing left.

"Lucky. I had that reserve from my training and to pull something out and say I am going to tackle Jared Waerea-Hargreaves now , he's coming flying at me, he's going to throw everything at me. I am the only person that can do the job right now so I got through that sort of 30 seconds of hell but I lasted the eight minutes."

Potter  said Fiji would give its best against world number one Australia when they meet this Friday at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

"Australia's got a very very professional team, it is going to be a hard ask, the guys are going to give their very best whether it will be good enough I don't know," Potter said.

After arriving from Wellington on Sunday night, the Fiji Bati had a recovery session at Southbank in Brisbane, a full training session on Tuesday and a day off yesterday.

With the limited time at hand, only the captain's run today to cap off the side's preparation, Potter's mix has not changed with the same line-up that played New Zealand last weekend.

Fiji has been receiving a fair bit of media attention, more than it had since it started playing in the tournament.

"They deserve it," Potter said.

"They have done a really good job to beat a tier one team and this is a step forward for Fiji rugby league.

"We got the number two ranked team in the competition, whether we can back it up or not it's another thing."

Captain Kevin Naiqama said Fiji's success was the unity in the team that had been strengthened through their daily devotions.

"I said since day one in camp that we have created something special here and it is no surprise.

"I think our success comes down to our devotion, from day one we have committed this squad and this team to Jesus and just been leading us.

"And our talatala has been leading us as a team. We have more players sharing during devotions, players are sharing about their testimonies and their experiences not only with Fiji but with their spiritual side. It's pretty special because it's something you can't get in any other team.".


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