Daryl Millard’s Fiji side have trumped the Papua New Guinea Kumuls by 22-10 at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast tonight (Saturday) in a high quality Test match.
Millard, playing out of position at five-eighth alongside brother and halfback Ryan Millard was in solid form making 21 tackles in the match as The Bati dominated proceedings early before a spirited PNG fought back in the second half. But a try in the second half to the Bati was enough to secure victory for the Fijians.
It took almost 20 minutes for first points to be scored in what was a solid opening by the two nations on the Gold Coast. Back-rower Jayson Bukuya took first point-scoring honours when he crossed for Fiji. Former Rabbitoh Apisai Koroisau added the extras to give The Bati an early 6-0 lead.
The try opened the floodgates for the Fijians with Marika Koroibete following up with two quick tries in seven minutes down the flanks to make it 18-0 with Koroisau’s two touch-line conversions.
The two sides went to the break with Fiji leading 18-0 after a high quality opening stanza.
It took just 11 minutes of the second half to yield more points, but this time it came from PNG when Rabbitohs train and trial players from the 2015 pre-season Wartovo Puara and Thompson Teteh combing to set up a try for winger Matt Trnka to narrow the gap at 18-4.
PNG continued on with the second half momentum 14 minutes from the end of the match, with prop-forward Stanton Albert crashing over from short range to reduce the deficit. Halfback Noel Zemming converted to make it 18-10.
Five minutes from full-time, Fiji clinched the match when centre Fabian Goodall took an intercept pass from PNG before streaking 60 metres to score out wide to make it 22-10, rounding out the clash.
Fiji (Jayson Bukuya, Marika Koroibete 2, Fabian Goodall, tries; Apisai Koroisau 3 goals)
PNG (Matt Trnka, Stanton Albert tries; Noel Zemming 1 goal)