New Zealand 2 Fiji 4

New Zealand 2 Fiji 4”

The victory marks Fiji's first-ever win against a tier-one nation and caps a miserable tournament for the Kiwis, who were booted from the quarter-finals a week after becoming the first top-three nation ever to lose to a second-tier side. The Kiwis came into the game as strong favourites with few giving the flamboyant Fiji any chance of progressing.

Jordan Rapana's spell in the sin bin for a professional foul added to the New Zealander's problems.

The game continued in the same style for the remainder of the half, with Kiwis full-back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck producing two try-saving tackles, one was a last-ditch effort on Brayden Wiliame as the back-rower went to ground the ball.

Fiji made an excellent break through Kevin Naiqama and Suliasi Vunivalu - but the Kiwis are forced to give away a penalty as Fiji looked hot on attack.

But it could have ended much differently after officials ruled a Fiji knock-on in the 72nd-minute despite footage clearly showing New Zealand player Kodi Nikorima losing posession.

The Vodafone Fiji Bati will now play Australia at 10pm next Friday.

A solid opening set from both teams, Shaun Johnson puts in a brilliant floating bomb - but Kevin Naiqama makes and excellent take and gets Fiji out of trouble.

"We can match the Tongans in terms of the number of spectators because we have a lot of Fijians living in that part of NZ particularly in the lower harbour areas of North Island".

A second-half slip-up against Tonga last week meant the New Zealanders squandered a 16-2 halftime lead as Mate Ma'a roared to an 28-22 upset pool play win in Hamilton.

She said they divided themselves in groups and would be taking turns in hosting the Fiji Bati leading up to the match on Saturday in Wellington.

Questions hang over coach David Kidwell's future with the result the Kiwis seventh defeat in 10 starts since he was appointed last September, and the New Zealand Rugby League set to review his position once his current contract ends in January.

Fiji have attacking weapons right across the park with Jarryd Hayne starting again in the halves.

But they couldn't clinch a late victor, with Tonga progressing to a semi-final next weekend in Auckland against England or Papua New Guinea.

Kiwis: Tuivasa-Sheck, Watene-Zelezniak, Whare, Takairangi, Rapana, Martin, Johnson, Taupau, Levi, Waerea-Hargreaves, Mannering, Tapine, Blair.

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