Fiji deliver spine-tingling rendition of ‘Noqu Masu’ hymn before game against PNG but their first test in three years ends with surprise defeat
- Fiji lost 24-14 to Papua New Guinea in their first Test in three years
- Bati players stole the show with rousing rendition of ‘Noqu Masu’ hymn
- Fiji beat PNG 22-20 in Christchurch in their final Test back in 2019
- Lachlan Lam scored a double as PNG pulled off upset at Campbelltown Stadium
Fiji’s return to the international stage for the first time in three years ended in a 24-14 defeat against Papua New Guinea, but the Bati stole the show ahead of kickoff.
Playing their first Test since 2019, Fiji players struggled to hold back the tears as. their national anthem rang out at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday night.
As it turned out, that was simply the prelude to the main event as the Bati upped the ante significantly shortly afterward.
Fiji players could barely choke back the tears as their national anthem was played
NRL stars Villiame Kikau and Maika Sivo joined their teammates as they locked arms in a circle to belt out a rousing rendition of their ‘Noqu Masu’ hymn.
Unfortunately for the Bati, their performances on the field didn’t quite live up to the pre-game ritual as retiring Papua New Guinea skipper David Mead enjoyed a fairytale finish to his international career.
Mead ran for 139 metres and scored one of the Kumuls’ four tries as they secured an eight win in the last 10 matches.
The Batu players then delivered an emotional rendition of their ‘Noqu Masu’ hymn
Papua New Guinea pulled off a stunning upset by beating Fiji 24-14 in Sydney
Fiji’s last Test came in 2019 when they beat PNG 22-20 in Christchurch and it was the Bati who hit the ground running in Sydney.
Taane Milne looked to have put them in front after crashing over from close range, only for the try to be ruled out after he was deemed to have lost control of the ball before grounding.
Two minutes later, however, Fiji were in front as Kevin Naiqama opened the scoring and Nautu’a Masima added a conversion.
Fiji co-captain Kevin Naiqama opened the scoring 12 minutes in to put the Bati ahead
But Papua New Guinea hit back with Lachlan Lam grabbing a double for the Kumuls
PNG hit back halfway through the first half with Lachlan Lam scoring to grab the first of his two tries, before Test debutant McKenzie Lei left four defenders in his wake to put his side 10-6 ahead.
Kyle Laybutt nailed his second conversion of the game and was again perfect from the kicking tee in the second half when Mead and Lam crossed after Sunia Turuva had dragged Fiji back in the game.
The young fullback completed his double in the final minute but it was too little too late for Fiji.