Korbin Sims rules out retirement U-turn after Fiji World Cup heartbreak

Sebastian Sternik
Korbin Sims Fiji PA

Fiji forward Korbin Sims reaffirmed his retirement plans following the Bati’s dramatic World Cup quarter-final defeat to New Zealand. 

The Bati were beaten 24-18 at the MKM Stadium in Hull which marked a fitting venue for the end of Sims’ career considering he spent the last two years playing in the city.

The 30-year-old joined Hull KR in 2021 but was denied a formal send-off after being suspended for Robins’ final game of the regular Super League season. 

When asked whether this was truly his last game, Sims said: “Yeah, my body’s had it. Spent a couple of years away living away from my son so it’s time for me to go home and be a hands-on dad again. 

“Six months ago, I made the decision to retire at the end of the year, I had already ruled myself out of the World Cup. (I’d had a) couple of questions from the captain and team-mates through the year and I always said no. 

“But just as the boys were getting ready for that England game, Kevin Naiqama called me and asked me again if I want to play. I made a decision there and then that I was going to finish off my career (at the World Cup) and I couldn’t be happier doing it this way. 

“After having the suspension last year and missing out on the final game of the regular season in the Super League. But I went out on my terms, I went out the way I started my career.”

Korbin Sims bids fond farewell to “sunny old Hull”

Sims was also pleased to hang up his boots in his adopted city of Hull, adding: “I’ve really enjoyed my last two years in Hull. I loved living there, I lived in town so I got to see a fair bit of Hull. I’m not happy that we’re finished by I am happy that I got to play another last game in sunny old Hull.”

Fiji led New Zealand for 62 minutes of their quarter-final clash. Looking back at the encounter, Sims said: “We had lots of belief out there, especially in the first half. We played very well. 

“Couple of silly errors but they’re a world class side. The calibre of players they have, you can’t give them easy metres, good field position because they’ll capitalise on it.”

He added: “We took it to the Kiwis to start the game. The weather played into our hands as well. The way we wanted to roll the Kiwis down the pitch, force errors like we’ve done. 

“But on the flip side of that, they forced errors from us. They capitalised on them and we put up a good fight. That’s just the way it is. Some calls didn’t got out way, which is just the game of footy now.”

No comment on captain’s challenge

One of the more controversial calls was the captain’s challenge in the 72nd minute which culminated with a New Zealand penalty. Jordan Rapana kicked the goal which moved the Kiwis ahead for the first time in the match – a lead they wouldn’t go on to relinquish. 

When asked about the decision, Sims was reluctant to comment: “I’m not saying anything about it. I’m not going there. I don’t know if I’m officially allowed to say it or not. I’ve got a lot of opinions but I’m not going to say anything until I’m well and truly clear… Maybe 2023,” he joked. 

Sims later added: “I don’t think it was any one decision which cost us the game. We made errors in the first half. But we can’t just dwell on one error, one call, the one forward pass, the one missed tackle. 

“Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has a good game and a bad game. We all dwell and live in each other’s glory. That’s a good thing about this side. We don’t dwell on the bad things, we lift each other up. We back each other not only in this game but future games.”

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