PATRIOTIC pride will serve as an inspiration for the Fiji Police rugby league team when it faces Australia in the Police Rugby League World Cup final in England.
The defending champions thumped hosts England 72-0 yesterday in its second match to book a place in the grand final.
Fiji led 30-0 at the break.
Fiji had lost to Australia in its opening game of the event.
Team manager Aporosa Lutunauga was overwhelmed with joy after the win and remained confident of successful title defence.
“After the loss in our first game, the players regrouped and played more like a team,” he said.
“England applied the pressure in the first 10 minutes and staged wave after wave of attacks on our tryline but our defence stood out like a brick wall.
“We are happy with this performance and we are looking forward to facing Australia again.”
Lutunauga said the players had not settled in well in the opening match but the win over England had put their campaign back on track.
He said the side knew what to expect from the Australians in the final on Monday (Fiji time).
“The boys have been reminded that they are not only representing the Fiji Police Force but also the country.
“This has definitely boosted the morale of the players and we hope to use this as an inspiration in the final.”
Fiji scored 12 tries against England with Jonacani Erenavanua and Maika Navuni getting a hat-trick each while winger Navitalai Ratulevu managed a brace of tries.
“England tried to come back with a barrage of attacks in the last five minutes but the boys stood their ground and managed to defend their tryline until the final whistle,” Lutunauga added.
“We have put that game behind us and we are now focusing on Australia in the final.”
Fiji Police: Samu Kunanitu, Isireli Temo, Jim Patrick, Apenisa Canasau, Isireli Kaloucava, Kini Namoumou, Sailosi Tora, Akuila Masi, Atunaisa Turagaiviu, Dominic Pene, Epeli Soro, Jonacani Eranavanua, Metui Volavola, Jock Luita, Joseva Katonibau, Aminisitai Niukula, Joseva Naisilisili, Ovini Burekalou, Manasa Tamani, Navitalai Ratulevu, Esava Delai, Maika Navuni, Kolinio Mateaki, Kameli Vaniqi