The Republic of Fiji Military Force laid down their own marker of intent to retain the trophy with a powerful display against New Zealand Defence Forces. It was long after the game had been won that the Defence Blacks were able to get on the score board as Fiji recorded a 50-7 victory.
Having opened the scoring with a penalty Fiji then went in to try scoring mode. Two in the first half, both converted, allowed them to reach the break 17-0 in front. They continued in the same vein in the second half and despite the Defence Blacks making a number of replacements they could not stem the continuous Fiji attacks. Three further converted tries extended the lead to 38-0 before New Zealand were able to trouble the scoreboard. Two further tries followed with the final conversion missed to make the final score 50-7.
The Fiji performance certainly will have focussed the minds of the UKAF players and coaching staff, though the Royal Navy and Army players already know a little of what to expect. In IDRC2015 the Royal Navy hosted Fiji in the pool stages and were beaten 51-17. Of that Navy side, B Buinimasi is now in Japan as part of the UKAF coaching team whilst Ben Priddey, Seta Raumakita, Ben Chambers, Edd Pascoe and Nathan Huntley are all part of the playing squad. Similarly Connor O’Reilly remains from the Army team which lost the final 30-10. It is certain to be fantastic game of rugby with Fiji looking to retain their crown and UKAF seeking the win in the first IDRC tournament that the UK has entered a combined side.