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Fiji to take Kangaroos out of comfort zone

Fiji coach Rick Stone says he will have a few tricks up his sleeve for the Kangaroos as he attempts to pull off the biggest shock in World Cup history.
Fiji to take Kangaroos out of comfort zone
by AAP

By Ian Laybourn

LONDON, Nov 18 PA - Fiji coach Rick Stone says he will have a few tricks up his sleeve for the Kangaroos as he attempts to pull off the biggest shock in World Cup history.

The Fijians completed the line-up for the semi-final double header at Wembley thanks to a 22-4 win over Samoa in the last quarter-final at Warrington on Sunday.

In a repeat of the 2008 semi-finals, England will take on World Cup holders New Zealand and Fiji play favourites Australia.

"Hopefully we can pull a few things out for the Aussies because you've got to take them out of their comfort zone," Stone said.

"If you play the way they think you're going to play, they'll generally handle most things well."

The Pacific Islanders lost 66-8 to the Kangaroos in the 2000 World Cup in Gateshead and suffered a 52-0 hammering in the semi-final in Sydney five years ago.

However, they put up sterner resistance when the teams met at St Helens in a pool match earlier this month, eventually going down 34-2.

Stone is confident they can narrow the gap further still at Wembley.

"I thought we competed pretty well against the Aussies when we played them at Saints," he said.

"I think we've evolved a little bit as a team in attack. We need to keep evolving if are going to challenge the top three nations.

"We've got to keep fine-tuning our attack and keep working on our decision-making and our shape and our consistency of finishing sets with some sort of polish.

"It's not finished for us, it's a work in progress, but we've seen some improvement throughout the tournament and that was on show again against Samoa."

Stone, an assistant coach at NRL club Newcastle, is familiar with the strengths of the Australian team and has pinpointed skipper Cameron Smith as the man the Fijians must stop.

"Cameron Smith is still one of the best players in our game in the NRL," Stone added.

"Even though he's got a host of stars around him, he's the orchestrator."




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