Stirring scenes as Fiji tear up for anthem

An emotion-filled national anthem from Fiji's players provided a stirring pre-game spectacle during their Rugby League World Cup clash with Italy.

If ever there was a question about what playing on the biggest stage for their country means to the Fijians it was answered in emphatic fashion in Canberra on Friday night.

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Forming a circle in the centre of the field and with each player holding one another arm in arm, the Fijians combined for a heartwarming rendition of their famous hymn.

Fiji's players combine for a stirring rendition of their national hymn. Pic: Getty/Ch7

The passion for the jersey was clear to see on each and every player's face as the camera panned across the entire squad, with a roar erupting from the crowd at the conclusion of the performance.

Fiji came into the clash having thumped USA and Wales but the match against James Tedesco's Italians was always going to be a sterner test for The Bati.

The Azzuri were playing for little more than pride, with an unthinkable 45-point win the only way they could snare a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament.

It didn't take long for the first fireworks of the night to kick off with Italy's Jayden Walker sin-binned for ten minutes after a professional foul.

Despite that early setback and against the run of play, it was the Italians that crossed for the opening try of the game courtesy of Josh Mantellato.

Kevin Naiqama hit back for the Fijians before a wild brawl erupted which saw Jarryd Hayne and Joseph Tramontana sin-binned for Fiji and Italy respectively.

When the dust settled it was Fiji who went into the break with a 10-4 lead courtesy of a Henry Raiwalui four-pointer just before the halftime siren.

The sea-sawing contest took another dramatic twist moments after the restart when a loose pass and a fortuitously bouncing kick ended up in Nathan Milone's hands for an Italian try.

A second half onslaught from Fiji turned a close contest into a blowout as The Bati wrapped up a 38-10 win.