FULLTIME
2017-11-18T06:30:00Z
Westpac Stadium

23 COMMENTS

  1. Congrats Fiji. Judging from the size of the the kiwi crowd (at home) it is clear NZ could see this coming and stayed away in droves. Not doubt they were disappointed at the players missing from their squad but they could not match Fiji for commitment and enthusiasm today IMO. That has to fall on the players and the coach and clearly there needs to be changes. England are also not in great form and I have a feeling if they had been forced to play Tonga instead of PNG they too would be out by the quarter finals.

    It is good to see teams like Tonga, Fiji and Lebanon doing so well though. It is great for the game.

    • Commiserations to the kiwi fans though.It must be tough to see a half strength team with a reserve grade coach just go through the motions. The kiwi boys did play with spirit but lacked the intensity, consistency, discipline and respect of possession. No doubt the kiwis will be at full strength again (and no doubt with a new coach) before the ANZAC Day test in 2018.

  2. Yes was a gripping game of footy , hasnโ€™t NZ crashed hard , both club and national sides are garbage, such a footy talented country , should they qualify for Football WC in Russia I think RL in NZ is finished !

  3. Well done Fiji Bati. Great to see another tier 2 nation getting a big win. Even better to see them tough out a win.

    Completely agree R.E your last comment too SSTID, it is great seeing these teams do well. The fight lebanon put up was tremendous. Makes the “World Cup Meh” article seem a bit silly doesn’t it.

    • It certainly is NOT the way to grow the game by denying it a place on the world stage.

      There really were some bad calls that cost Lebanon against England. Had these decisions favoured the Cedars then an upset was on the cards and Lebanon would have been facing PNG instead of Tonga. Tonga also would have eliminated England on current form. Fiji, Tonga and Lebanon should be commended for the spirit and the way they have played. An open attacking style of football (though high risk, it is so entertaining). Just like the old Manly vs Parramatta games I remember and Catnerbury when they were the “entertainers” before they became the “Dogs of War”.

      Sadly, RL because of the coaching methods adopted over the years, has become more focused on “playing it safe” and “low risk overly structured styles of play” and cynical methods of exploiting the rules to win or avoid penalties that result in a spoiling style that kills the game and attempts to manipulate officials.

      Just one example was a penalty earned by RTS late in the game where he walked into the marker in trying to play the ball and in doing so lost the ball. In the past he would have been penalised for moving off the mark but in today’s game they tend to only focus on the defence and there is no such thing as an offensive penalty. Likewise a player is penalised for using the shoulder in a tackle while the ball carrier can raise their elbow at the last moment or turn a shoulder into a stationary defender from a 20 metre charge. How is that fair or safe? The NRL need to look at blowing penalties on both sides of possession. The game is becoming a mess and it needs to be addressed and the rules revised ASAP.

  4. Go Fiji Go! Considering there were dubious calls against Fiji and a clear try disallowed, it is great for rugby league that Fiji and Lebanon has silenced the critics.

    Great games all around. Just wish refereeing would become better. But that’s been a flaw for years now.

    • Most of the game the kiwis had their hand on the ball and under around the defender in possession up to the play the ball and this was not penalised. Lebanon had “3 tries” disallowed and the obstruction call was a toss of the coin. On a 50/50 call, considering Tonga were fielding a full team of NRL first graders to Lenanon’s 3 first graders and 1 part timer, I think the call should have gone the way of the minnows. Likewise Farah WAS tackled without the ball and this was not penalised as the tackle was made by the best and most talked about forward in the game currently, Jason Taumololo. It was a crucial moment late in the game that quite possibly decided the outcome.

        • You are right! It is a big shame that rugby league has and always will be run and governed with a biased lense on it. There is never any signs of intelligence in the game! There are many examples of this but that will make for a different conversation.

          You are right SSTID if you want to promote the game internationally, then give benefit of the doubt to the minnows. That will encourage the game back in their country. I really feel for Lebanon. They have been grossly unlucky this tournament.

          It annoys me how big name players become protected species in this game.

          I think the game needs to soon be referred by robots. Only then will the game be officiated on its merits and not by dumb decisions by even obvious one sided refs.

          As they say if you deal with monkeys you will only get peanuts in return.

        • Hang about, there’s a few contradictions here.

          A. I don’t agree that 50/50 calls should go to the weakest team.
          B. Greenlabel, you agreed with SSTID’s comments, then added it’s a shame the game is run with a bias lens. 50/50 calls to the weakest side is surely a form of bias.

          Anyway, I can’t argue the refs get every call right, because of course they don’t / can’t, and it can be frustrating when a 50/50 call goes against you at a critical point in the game, but 50/50 calls have to be awarded, one way or the other, and 1 team won’t like it.

          All that said, the Lebanon / England game from a few weeks back was probably the worst umpiring I’ve every seen.

        • mighty, don’t be a stick in the mud. Give the Cedars their moment in the sun. You never know how they may grow as a result. ๐Ÿ˜‰
          50/50 calls favour “certain clubs” every round of the NRL (especially when they have people in high places in the NRL, or coaches with high opinions of themselves and statues being made of bronze, or a player that is going for every record the game has even if he has to play until his 60’s! Come on mate, there was nothing in that obstruction call and the penalty that was missed for tackling Farah without the ball that decided the game was 100% not 50/50.

          DO you really have to dot every “i” and cross every “t” mighty. Think of the kiddies. Give them something to believe in for Christmas. Don’t be the Grinch! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • For the record I am a Christmas Grinch, I hate it, but that has nothing to do with RL.

          I couldn’t speak highly enough of the Lebanon team’s performance through this WC. I’m really impressed, and they’ve done themselves, their country of origin, the sport etc. so proud. I take nothing away from them, and I’d also agree they’ve been on the wrong side of too many calls, especially in the England game.

          I also agree 50/50 calls favour certain teams / players etc, but I’d rather they didn’t, and we tried to get that bias out, as opposed to redirecting it.

        • “he has to play until his 60โ€™s!” (got it right the first time, too many posts going up and coming down last night. I’m soooo confused!)

  5. Eels you mm missed my point. No contradiction at all. I simply said the 50/50 calls that can be annexed to the weaker team for the growth and longevity of the game doesn’t make what I’m saying a contradiction.

    I agree with SSTID here, stop being a grinch and support the minnows. In true aussie spirit we love to support the underdog ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Bula Fiji. I have happy memories of the place and all the friendly and welcoming people I met while holidaying there many years ago. Fiji played with passion, guts and commitment and were punching above their weight when you look at both teams in balance. I also loved their OWN unique way to respond to the haka. I hope to see it a LOT more of this in this World Cup. In fact it would suit me just fine to see Tonga vs Fiji in the final (and I am a staunch Australian supporter, but the game needs it more than we do).

      • I was supporting the underdogs in both games today, but I still don’t want to see refs favouring them to get them over the line.

        The way I see it as soon as you start giving the benefit of the doubt to 1 team over another, you weaken the game. You erode its credibility. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen to an extent already, but just because that bias is towards the weaker team (the underdog), still doesn’t justify it.

        But I’m glad your happy, and proud of your team, and I’m too am glad they won, fair and square. Now how would you feel if they were given the benefit of the doubt on more than their fair share of 50/50 calls, and their win was to be (unnecessarily in this case) tarnished because of the refs?

        • mighty, no one is suggesting that the refs should just hand the game to the underdog. No, no, no, no, no! They have to make it look like a contest first! Remember the Rabbitohs vs the Broncos in round 8 (24-25)? All the “questionable decisions” that favoured the Broncos culminating with Milford drop the ball cold right in front of the referees and bunker officials just before he regathered and kicked the winning field goal? Like that! Bahahahahahahahaha

        • I’m sorry to say but I think this happens every week in the NRL. Some refs just have a tendency to always give 50/50 calls to certain teams. The inconsistency of the NRL is not something new. As soon as a side like New Zealand has to rely on referees making perfect decisions to win games against a 2nd tier nation then you know there’s problems within the squad. Besides I thought New Zealand were heavily favoured against Tonga the week before by the refs and failed to win that game as well.

          The refs didn’t lose New Zealand that game. New Zealand were just completely outplayed. They were neck to neck in almost every stat but Fiji’s forwards won the field position game. Adam Blair doesn’t deserve to be in the squad after that game and the fact that he is captain is absolutely laughable. If he can’t stand up against Fiji then how do you expect him to stand up to sides like Australia and England?

  6. Now now, all I’m saying is I’d like to 50/50 calls be distributed on the merits of a game. Simple as that.

    Go Fiji go!

    Thanks for the lovely comment RE Fiji SSTID. For me Fiji is the 8th wonder of the world. But I’m just being biased ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  7. “(Blair) described himself as โ€œproudโ€ of his side for their part in โ€œa great game to watchโ€

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/world-cup/nz-view-bizarre-adam-blair-postmatch-interview-met-with-alarmed-reaction-from-kiwi-press/news-story/5e14ec355666e68b418419083bb2aa1f

    I wanted to add a word about Adam Blair and David Kidwell in all of this in light of post game interviews and the story (above).

    Well done! Class act both of you. No excuses, no complaints, no attempt to take the limelight and the respect away from Fiji who had just reached the highest heights in their RL history. That was also reflected in the manner and spirit in which the kiwi boys sincerely congratulated the Bati after the game. I think (despite feeling crushed and disappointed inside) these guys all see the bigger picture of the game. They could have ducked for cover and thrown each other or their coach under the bus but they did not. Bravo! Well done. To all Kiwi supporters (though rightfully disappointed by this performance) be proud of this display. I don’t see Australia being as gracious and certainly Pappa Smurf would have had a list of excuses ready to roll off before ever thinking of giving credit where it is due.

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