Fiji deliver spine-tingling rendition of ‘Noqu Masu’ hymn before game against PNG
Fiji deliver chilling rendition of ‘Noqu Masu’ anthem before match against PNG, but their first test in three years ends in surprise defeat
- Fiji lost 24-14 to Papua New Guinea in their first test in three years
- Bati players stole the show with a rousing rendition of the hymn ‘Noqu Masu’
- Fiji defeated PNG 22-20 in Christchurch in their final test in 2019
- Lachlan Lam scored a double when PNG got upset at Campbelltown Stadium
Fiji’s return to the international scene for the first time in three years ended in a 24-14 defeat to Papua New Guinea, but the Bati stole the show before kick-off in the Pacific Test.
As they played their first test since 2019, Fiji players struggled to hold back the tears. their national anthem sounded Saturday night at Campbelltown Stadium.
As it turned out, that was just the prelude to the main event, as the Bati upped the ante considerably shortly after.
Fiji players could barely hold back their tears as their national anthem was played
NRL stars Villiame Kikau and Maika Sivo joined their teammates as they closed their arms in a circle to deliver a rousing rendition of their ‘Noqu Masu’ anthem.
Unfortunately for the Bati, their on-field performances didn’t quite live up to the pre-game ritual, as retired Papua New Guinea skipper David Mead experienced a fairytale end to his international career.
Mead ran 139 yards and scored one of the Kumuls’ four tries, as they took eight wins in their last 10 games.
The Batu players then delivered an emotional rendition of their ‘Noqu Masu’ hymn
Papua New Guinea delivered a stunning surprise by beating Fiji 24-14 in Sydney
A physical battle unfolded in the sides’ first test match since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, but PNG’s rock-solid goal-line defense and ability to make the most of limited opportunities made all the difference.
The win would also have added weight to Papua New Guinea’s bid for the NRL’s 18th license.
The schedule is still in its early stages, but one thing is certain: PNG brought enough talent and intensity into the match to suggest they could rival an NRL side.
Both countries also look set to make an impact at this year’s World Cup, which starts in October.
While there has been much debate over Tonga’s ability to topple the three tier 1 nations in Australia, New Zealand and England, Saturday night’s game at Campbelltown Sports Stadium will also give Fiji and PNG a reason to dream. of World Cup glory.
Fiji co-captain Kevin Naiqama opened the scoring in the 12th minute to put the Bati ahead
But Papua New Guinea hit back and Lachlan Lam took a double for the Kumuls
Fiji enjoyed most of the field position and possession, but lacked inspiration in their fifth tackle options and struggled to capitalize.
There seemed no breakthrough in the resolute PNG defense until Kevin Naiqama chased his grubber kick close to the line and grabbed the ball back for a try.
But PNG went into halftime with a 12-6 lead despite only having five balls within the opposing team’s 20m zone, compared to Fiji’s 24.
Fiji fullback Sunia Turuva gave Penrith fans a glimpse into the future, clocking 252 meters to go with two tries and seven tackles.
Sunia Turuva shone for Fiji, scoring two tries and scoring 252 meters
The 19-year-old is without a doubt ready for an NRL debut if Dylan Edwards is injured in the Panthers’ quest for successive premierships.
NRL rivals may have liked what they saw, but Turuva rejoined the Panthers earlier this month and will be with their top-30 squad for at least two more seasons from 2023.
Turuva brought Fiji back into the game with his first try in the second half, but Mead helped the Kumuls retaliate with an effort he will remember for the rest of his life.
Players from both teams gathered for prayer at the end of the Pacific Test
The PNG skipper announced his decision to retire from international duties earlier this week and when Lachlan Lam sent him for a try after breaking the line, PNG clinched the win.
It wouldn’t have been a PNG win without some Justin Olam magic.
The Melbourne fan favorite found Lam for his second attempt with an inch-perfect grubber kick that sealed the result for the Kumuls.