New Zealand vs Fiji: Rugby League World Cup quarter-final live scores, blog

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    New Zealand vs Fiji

    2017 Rugby League World Cup

    Wellington Regional Stadium
    New Zealand Fiji
    2 SCORE 4
    0 Tries 0
    0 Conversions 0
    1 Penalty goals 2
    0 Field goals 0

    Match result:

    Fiji have upset New Zealand and booked a place in a semi-final versus Australia in game where the only scores made were three penalty goals.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    New Zealand 2
    Fiji 4

    Match preview:

    New Zealand will come up against Fiji on Saturday afternoon at Wellington Regional Stadium in the quater-finals of the Rugby League World Cup. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 5:30pm AEDT.

    This probably isn’t the matchup that Kiwi fans were expecting to see their team playing at this stage of the tournament. Before they get too far ahead of themselves and worry about a semi-final with Australia, their team are going to need to sharpen up in a few areas and see off the unbeaten Fijians.

    For the New Zealanders the tournament has been going almost according to plan. The one hiccup was the loss to Tonga in their last pool game that saw them finish runner-up and on the wrong side of the draw.

    Time will tell whether this was just a blip on the radar or the beginning of the end for one of the biggest names in the game.

    The Kiwis will be looking to show that it was a valuable wakeup call with a clinical and crushing display in this clash.

    Winning is obviously essential otherwise it’s home time, but they will want to win well to quieten any talk of bigger issues and take confidence into a top-tier semi-final with the Kangaroos.

    There are a couple of changes to the Kiwi starting line up with Te Maire Martin joining Johnson in the halves and Levi starting at hooker.

    Levi’s proven himself to be a hardworking and hard fighting player over the past couple of seasons with the Knights and his grit is going to be important as the Kiwis look to establish control over the game in the first half.

    They will look to their forwards in general for this control – the Kiwi pack and bench is much stronger than their Fijian opponents and the men in black are going to need all of their big names – Taupau, Waerea-Hargreaves, Mannering, Packer and Blair – to set the tone.

    They need solid sets of six from the outset and their big men punching holes, giving their backs quick ball to put the Fijians on the back foot.

    If the Fijians, however, are given a chance to unleash their backs with any sort of time and space then we should see more of the same fireworks that saw them rack up a point difference in the group stages of 140.

    Hayne at 6 is going to have to have a good game and if he and Raiwalui can put any of their outside backs in space then it should be a cracking afternoon.

    New Zealand are a far stronger proposition than anything Fiji have faced so far and so the away side are going to need players like Naiqama, Vunivalu and Uate to come looking for the ball and be busy in attack and organised in defence.

    Speaking of defence, the Kiwis will be better organised and more restrictive than anything the Fijians have faced before in this tournament but with the type of talent and form the Fijians are showing, it would be brave soul to bet against them being a scoring threat.

    Beyond this specific game, the tournament as a whole is drawing varying degrees of attention and media. There’s plenty of stories coming out of Australia that suggest that the World Cup isn’t being regarded as big a deal as you might hope. From a logistics point of view the plan to have more games in Canberra than in Sydney and Newcastle combined seems strange. Spreading the game is of course a great idea, but if you want your congregation to grow you’ve got to get your faithful choir to sing loudly.

    From a structure point of view there’s been plenty of debate and demands for change. Samoa’s presence in the quarter-finals, for example, has confused many. Not a single game won and a points difference of minus 44 yet they qualify out of their group.

    Equally Lebanon won just one game, have a points difference of minus 42 and will fight for a place in the semis. Meanwhile Ireland won two of their three games, had a positive points difference of over 40 and are checking out the in-flight movies on the long haul flight back north.

    But those are topics for another day. In this game we have what should be an absolute belter. Two teams with huge attacking potential and a huge desire to make a statement to the rest of the rugby league world.

    There’s no historical form of any sort between these two teams but it’s hard to see New Zealand tripping up again against this local rival. They should have too much power and go forward for the Fijians and will look to unleash Johnson’s magic off that solid platform.

    New Zealand to win by 16

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    The Crowd Says (193)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • 6:57pm
      Israel said | 6:57pm | ! Report

      Well done Fiji Bati, to all the players, excellent team cohesion and what a defence line for 80 minutes, Big Vinaka to the coaches and all the back room staff for all your work behind the scene, lots of homework, analyst, n game plans, 3 points, one it’s always good to let the other team start it’s first hit up from near their try line, two the aussies left side is weak, three come up some unorthodox attacks to keep them guessing for 80 mins….lastly good stretching, good rest, good focus, stay calm, Bati your blessed leave everything on that field coz this is your final!

    • 10:06am
      Speep said | 10:06am | ! Report

      Well done Fiji. Kikau and kamikamica were outstanding, completely dominated nz. Think JWH is extremely overrated.

    • 3:51am
      Atlas Ryan said | 3:51am | ! Report

      In the lowest scoring game of the 2017 World Cup and Fiji have booked their place against Australia in the semi-final next week following

      Watch Free:

      Watch Free:

    • 12:38am
      Sanaila seru said | 12:38am | ! Report

      Let the game decide for itself.The kiwis hasn’t met the Fijian running style and defence.thus it was obvious it was causing so much headache for the much praised nz side..but Fiji emerged much more composed and determine to put an end to the nz campaign and continue their quest for victory.

    • 11:13pm
      dave said | 11:13pm | ! Report

      Lots of passion and good defence from both teams but neither side had quality in the 9/6/7 positions in attack. Really highlighted how important that is.

    • 11:01pm
      Duncan Smith said | 11:01pm | ! Report

      Hayne plays well when he cares.

    • 9:02pm
      Targa said | 9:02pm | ! Report

      Congrats Fiji, but that is the most embarrassing moment in NZ sporting history. I think league is officially dead in this country. I think of the gutsy way our soccer players tried against Peru and see the gutless way the Kiwis played. I hope they are forced to give all their match fees away to charity. Good luck to the ABs vs Scotland and the Black Caps vs the Windies. I’m sure they will have some pride in the silver fern.

      • 9:12pm
        Beavis said | 9:12pm | ! Report

        Ccechin wanted a close finish with 2 decisions going to NZ in last 3 minutes. Fiji attacking and hayne kicks on last – Solomona puts out hand 10 metres away and knock it down – anywhere else on the field its a knock on but play on then Fiji player has ball stripped in 2 man tackle on the Fiji 40 -scrum NZ ball. If he gets a final its rigged…

        • 10:42am
          Kiwijack said | 10:42am | ! Report

          The refereeing was a disgrace, the worst that I have seen in a long time. Lebanon v Tonga game was also bad, Lebanon should have won. NZ need to do some deep soul searching and talent searching new coach and some new players needed. JWH for one offers nothing neither at times does Johnson. Build a new team around Martin.

      • 9:22pm
        Fred said | 9:22pm | ! Report

        It would be embarrassing if Fiji weren’t such a great team, but they are. Seriously – the ‘big 3’ is meaningless now – Fiji and Tonga are quality teams who have no right any longer to be called ‘tier 2’.

        I think Samoa has been far more embarrassing than NZ.

        • Roar Guru

          Sleiman Azizi said | 9:33pm | ! Report

          I think the whole tier naming system is a bit silly.

          Nonetheless, when you think about it, Australia, England and New Zealand are tier one nations because of their resources which, more often than not, lead to victories over everyone else.

          I think for Tonga and Fiji to be considered tier 1 nations, they would need some sort of higher level and self-sustaining rugby league infrastructure for players to gravitate towards.

          I know it might be seen as just semantics but to me a tier one nation is very different to a tier one team.

          • 9:35pm
            Fred said | 9:35pm | ! Report

            Yeah, true.Which is why I was heartened to see a Fijian fan’s comment below describing Fiji wanting to base their national coach in Fiji, and grow the under 16’s game locally.

            • Roar Guru

              Sleiman Azizi said | 9:44pm | ! Report

              If they can get a team into the NSW system like the PNG Hunters in Queensland, then that will certainly help.

        • 10:12pm
          Mack said | 10:12pm | ! Report

          Absolutely right targa… shocking result for kiwis. Fiji weren’t that good (Aussie will prove this in a weeks time) the kiwis just played crap. League is a minority sport in Fiji and all their players play in Aussie there is no way nz should have lost this game.

          • 10:28pm
            Fred said | 10:28pm | ! Report

            You don’t give up do you Andrew.

    • 8:59pm
      Fred said | 8:59pm | ! Report

      I think Australia will be more frightened by Fiji winning 4-2 than if Fiji had won 48-38.

      • Roar Guru

        Michael Keeffe said | 8:12am | ! Report

        I don’t think Australia will be frightened by anything. Fiji defended well but the Kiwi’s attack was toothless. Australia will win by 30+ next week.

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