KEVIN Naiqama produced a super performance on his Rugby League World Cup debut to spearhead The Vodafone Fiji Bati side to a quarter-final spot.
The younger of the Naiqama brothers was named, man of the match following a splendid performance at last man down during the 32-14 victory over Ireland at Spotland Stadium yesterday.
He scored a try, set up two of Akuila Uate's three tries, ran more than 100meters on attack and sparked Fiji's attack when in possession.
The Newcastle Knights fullback said they needed the win to boost their performance at the RLWC. He said his teammates were anxious for the game especially playing in a full packed stadium at Rochdale.
"It was definitely an important win," he told BBC after the game.
"We have been waiting a long time for this game and the boys were very anxious to play. I'm just glad we got the result because the guys played their hearts out.
"The people of Rochdale were great with their support and we thank them for that."
Naiqama made his debut for Fiji in 2009. He played with Uate and Korbin Sims for the Knights.
Fiji's head coach Rick Stone is the assistant coach for the Knights.
Fiji plays the Kangaroos in its next game on Sunday at 9am.
Emoni Narawa | Wednesday, October 30, 2013 | Fiji Times