Australian, Fijian rugby players join in emotional prayers and hymns after rousing match

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Australia and Fiji displayed impeccable sportsmanship following their Rugby League World Cup matchup on Saturday.

Australia beat Fiji 42-8, thanks to spectacular performances from Valentine Holmes, Josh Addo-Carr and others on the Kangaroos squad. But it was their interaction with the Fiji players that caught the attention of social media after the game.

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Fiji's players and team members pray at the end of the Rugby League World Cup match between Australia and Fiji at the Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. 

Fiji’s players and team members pray at the end of the Rugby League World Cup match between Australia and Fiji at the Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Jon Super)

Players from both countries joined in a prayer circle after the match and sang a hymn.

Latrell Mitchell, who had four points in the match, was emotional as he joined the prayer circle. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, it had been a tough year for Mitchell, who had been considering sitting out the World Cup altogether. Australia’s coach Mal Meninga brought him back.

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Fiji's players and team members pray at the end of the Rugby League World Cup match between Australia and Fiji at the Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

Fiji’s players and team members pray at the end of the Rugby League World Cup match between Australia and Fiji at the Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.
(AP Photo/Jon Super)

“What [Fiji] do in their culture is all about spreading that good energy, making sure that we’re safe on our journey, and they’re safe on their journey,” Mitchell told the outlet. “It was awesome that they did that for us. That passion, it honestly made me tear up, because I closed my eyes and started thinking about my family back home, and that’s what they do.

“They’re a very passionate people, and I love when that stuff is shared. It made me connect to my people and my home. That’s what [international rugby] means, that’s that passion, and I love it.”

Australia and Fiji players sing together after Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool B match between Australia and Fiji at Headingley on October 15, 2022, in Leeds, England.

Australia and Fiji players sing together after Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool B match between Australia and Fiji at Headingley on October 15, 2022, in Leeds, England.
(Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

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Australia and Italy led Group B after the first round of matches. Each country has two points in the standings. Scotland and Fiji are pointless.

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