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Fiji Bati v Lebanon: Pacific Test preview

The Fijians have named a strong squad with a liberal sprinkling of NRL players for the 2019 Ox & Palm Pacific Test Invitational against Lebanon.

They have speed out wide in wingers Maika Sivo and Suliasi Vunivalu, strength up front in Korbin Sims and Tui Kamikamica, and a good mix of both in tearaway back-rower Viliame Kikau.

The Bati will be counting on the likes of Marcelo Montoya, Jason Bukuya and Mika Ravalawa to stand tall.

It's a tough ask for Lebanon but they won't be short or pride or effort, especially with Robbie Farah and Tim Mannah on board.

Coach Rick Stone will also be banking on NRL players Michael Lichaa and Abbas Miski to provide leadership, especially with halfback Mitch Moses ruled out.

The Rundown

Key match-up

Whether he likes it or not (and he probably loves it given his competitive nature and immeasurable pride), Tim Mannah has to shoulder a lot of responsibility if Lebanon are going to spring an upset. The evergreen prop will match motors with another proud warrior in Korbin Sims and their battle up front should be a beauty.

For Fiji to win

As long as they don't take their opponents for granted, the flamboyant Fijians should have too much firepower all over the park. They beat Lebanon 40-28 in 2014 and it'll be interesting to see if the gap has closed or widened in five years. Korbin Sims should combine with fellow forwards Bukuya and Kamikamica to lay a solid platform up front. If all else fails, just give the ball to 'Vili' and get out of the way.

For Lebanon to win

Farah will need to produce a man of the match performance while Mannah will have to play like Glenn Lazarus. No doubt they'll miss the flair and creativity of Moses, but if they can hold their own with the Bati forwards, Farah might have enough tricks up his sleeve to give the Cedars a fighting chance.

Stat Attack

Maika Sivo has quickly established himself as one of the game's most exciting players. The Eels winger is among the NRL's top five for tries (12) and line breaks (12).

And another thing ...

Jarryd Hayne played 10 games for Fiji, debuting in 2008 and returning to the Bati for the 2017 World Cup. Hayne had already debuted for the Australian team in 2007 before lining up for Fiji in '08. He was selected for Australia 12 times, his final representation in the green and gold occurring in 2013. Hayne played 12 games for Australia before turning out for the Bati in 2017 and again in 2018.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.