Lockyer: 'Full credit to Fiji'
Australia captain Darren Lockyer has paid tribute to Fiji for a valiant effort in defeat following their World Cup semi-final clash.
By Simon Dilger
Last Updated: 17/11/08 9:47am
Australia captain Darren Lockyer has paid tribute to Fiji for a valiant effort in defeat following their World Cup semi-final clash on Sunday.
Despite failing to score a single point in the 52-0 rout, the Fijians side put in their best ever performance against the World's top side.
In their three previous encounters with the Kangaroos they were thrashed 66-0 and 66-8 in World Cup matches in 1995 and 2000 and hammered 84-14 in a Test in 1996.
Thrown together and headed by a handful of Australian NRL professionals, Fiji were never expected to pull off an upset against the hot favourites.
But they went out of the World Cup with all guns blazing and certainly left their mark on the Kangaroos who face New Zealand in Saturday's final in Brisbane.
"It was a physical game and we're going to have some bruises tomorrow," said Lockyer.
"Full credit to Fiji and how far they have come in this tournament, the scoreboard didn't reflect the intensity of the tackles out there.
"Our defence is great at the moment and we are going to need to keep that standard next in the final against the Kiwis."
Fiji coach Joe Dakuitoga said that much had been learned from the experience and that in the future he hoped his side would be able to pose more of a threat to the bigger sides
"We learned a lot of things from this game," he told a news conference.
"Maybe you give us another 10 years and we can compete with all these big nations."