• Talei Matairakula

    Multimedia Journalist Sports Desk | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @TaleiMatairakulaFBCNews

    MAY 27, 2020 5:38 PM

    The Asia-Pacific Rugby League Confederation (APRLC) continues to explore fixture options for the 2020 Oceania Cup.

    The tournament was originally scheduled to consist of two rounds of fixtures in June and October-November including Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga.

    The recent confirmation of the NRL’s 2020 calendar has allowed APRLC to scope a new schedule of Oceania Cup fixtures for November that could run concurrently with the State of Origin series.

    This would mean Fiji is likely to face Tonga and New Zealand at the end of the year but Fiji National Rugby League interim chief executive Don Natabe says the APRLC has until August to make the final decision.

    APRLC chair Sandis Tsaka says there is still much uncertainty about international travel, mass gatherings and the ability to stage sporting events with crowds, and these factors will influence options for Oceania Cup matches.

    This as FNRL is anticipating an end of the year test between the Fiji Bati and the invitational Tonga side in October as a build-up to the Rugby League World Cup next year.

    The International Rugby League expelled Tonga after a long-running battle over governance, money and a threatened player boycott but FNRL interim chief executive Don Natabe says the IRL has adopted a structure that will allow Tonga to play Fiji as an invitational side.

    “At this time the international rugby league has granted a sort of temporary membership structure that is to enable the Tonga invitational team to play against Fiji at the end of the year test.”

    Natabe adds the Asia Pacific Rugby League is working around the clock to decide the fate of the test match.

    “We do know the fixtures is looking to have Tonga meet Fiji on the October test. We have until August which is the deadline for the APRL to deliver the final verdict on whether or not we are going to have the end of year test.”

    The Fiji Bati was scheduled to play Tonga and New Zealand at the end of the 2020 NRL season as a preparation towards the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

  • Eels v Panthers at Bankwest Stadium

    Eels: Nathan Brown returns at lock, bumping Marata Niukore to the bench. Ray Stone joins the interchange with Brad Takairangi and Oregon Kaufusi dropping out.

    Panthers: Nathan Cleary's return in the halves means Matt Burton moves back to the bench, with Mitch Kenny out of the 17.

  • By Tifa Vataiki | Fiji Village.Com

    Sunday 14/06/2020

    Suliasi Vunivalu scored as the Melbourne Storm beat the Newcastle Knights - [Photo: Getty Image]

    Suliasi Vunivalu scored as the Melbourne Storm beat the Newcastle Knights 26-12.

    In typical Storm fashion, skipper Cameron Smith was the chief orchestrator in the victory, keeping up the pressure on the Knights who eventually crumbled.

    Smith set up two of the three first-half tries as Melbourne took an 18-2 lead into the sheds, but it could have been more if not for some defensive resilience from the Knights.

    In other matches last night, the Rabbitohs beat the Titans 32-12 while the Canberra Raiders beat the Wests Tigers 14-6.

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