Rugby League World Cup: Fiji 72-6 Wales

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Rugby League World Cup
Fiji (42) 72
Tries: Vunakece, Vunivalu 3, Raiwalui, Kikau 2, Faingaa, Milne 2, Montoya, Hayne, Nakubuwai, Lovodua Goals: Koroisau 4, Milne 3, Vunivalu
Wales (6) 6
Try: Knowles Goal: Davies

Wales’ hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the World Cup were ended by a 14-try mauling by superb Fiji.

The Pacific Islanders inflicted a record tournament defeat on Wales, scoring eight tries before half-time.

Wales’ only score came in the 10th minute, when St Helens forward Morgan Knowles crossed on his 21st birthday.

Fiji play Italy next as they look to seal top spot in Group D, while John Kear’s team face Ireland as they bid to save face after two heavy defeats.

The margin of the loss surpassed the 50-6 defeat by Papua New Guinea last week, which was Wales’ previous heaviest World Cup defeat.

Wales had no answer to the pace, power and ball-playing skills of Fiji, with Suliasi Vunivalu scoring a hat-trick of tries and 10 different players claiming touchdowns.

The Welsh players travel to Perth for their final match against Ireland, who lost 14-6 against Papua New Guinea.

They will be hoping to win a first match at the World Cup since 2000.

Wales coach John Kear: “Quality told, they were comprehensively better than us. If people play like that against you who are that big and skilful, you’re in bother. And we were in bother.

“The Welsh fans will be disappointed, but they’re not half as disappointed as the players and coaches are because there’s been a lot of work gone in this week and you feel like you’ve been kicked in the rocks to tell you the truth.”

Fiji: Kevin Naiqama (capt), Suliasi Vunivalu, Taane Milne, Akuila Uate, Marcelo Montoya, Jarryd Hayne, Henry Raiwalui, Ashton Sims, Apisai Koroisau, Eloni Vunakece, Viliame Kikau, Salesi Faingaa, Tui Kamikamica, Joe Lovodua, Jacob Saifiti, Junior Roqica, Ben Nakubuwai.

Wales: Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Michael Channing, Christiaan Roets, Regan Grace, Courtney Davies, Danny Ansell, Craig Kopczak (capt), Steve Parry, Philip Joseph, Rhodri Lloyd, Joe Burke, Morgan Knowles, Matty Fozard, Matthew Barron, Ben Evans, Dalton Grant.

Referee: Chris Kendall (England).


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