The Fiji rugby league team are already looking ahead to next year after earning promotion to Pool A of the Oceania Cup.

The Fiji Bati came from behind to beat Papua New Guinea 22-20 in Christchurch at the weekend, which secured top spot in Pool B and a place alongside New Zealand and Tonga in the top tier next year.

Coach Brandon Costin wasn’t impressed with their final performance but said he was glad they were able to secure the Oceania Shield by winning both of their games.

After thrashing Toa Samoa 44-18 a week earlier, Costin admitted their performance against the Kumuls was disappointing, although he praised the side’s ability to win despite not playing well.

It was a lesson they needed as they look forward to 2020.

Costin added that Tonga had shown over the past two years what could be achieved if teams were given the chance to play tier one nations on a regular basis.

A number of front-line players who missed the November tests should also be available to bolster the Bati squad next year.

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