In the sheds: Fiji reps
It was a high energy match that harboured plenty of emotion and pride for Newcastle Knights Daniel Saifiti and Akuila Uate who represented in the Fijian Bati side in the Pacific Test match against Papua New Guinea on Saturday night.
Teammate Korbin Sims, who was ruled out of the same representative match due to suspension, was with the team during the week and caught up with the two Fijian Knights in the sheds after the game.
Uate, who is a veteran of the Fijian side, relished being in camp for the week with his teammates.
"It has been a great week getting to see all the boys," he said.
While the game resulted in Fiji being defeated 24-22 by the Kumuls, he praised the relatively young squad for an incredible show of courage and effort.
"I'm very proud of the young boys, they stood up tonight," he said.
"We were just unlucky with the result at the end. We have to keep our head up and be ready for the World Cup next year."
Uate believes the match lays a solid platform for the side's representatives to build on individually.
"They have to go back to their own Club and work out what they need to do right," he said.
"They are going to work on that and come back next year bigger and better."
Meanwhile Daniel Saifiti played his second game for the Fiji Bati at Pirtek Stadium.
"It was extremely physical out there. The first couple of sets I was definitely hurting," he said about the encounter.
"At the end I thought we were going to get them, but when your completing 25 percent of the footy with the ball, you're not going to get the win at the end of the day."
During the game, Saifiti says discipline was an area for improvement moving forward.
"We probably need to be more disciplined with the footy. We are known for playing more ad-lib footy but we need to do that towards the back end than the middle and I think that's what got us in the end," he added.
For Saifiti, the opportunity to represent his Fijian culture fills he and his family with pride.
"They are so proud. When I told them I was playing for Fiji again (after making my debut) they were 10 times more proud," he said.
"I'm very close to my Fijian heritage and very proud of it and to represent my Mum's side I'm extremely proud."