New Zealand v Fiji - Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final
HULL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Jordan Rapana of New Zealand celebrates their sides fourth try during the Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final match between New Zealand and Fiji at MKM Stadium on November 05, 2022 in Hull, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images for RLWC)

New Zealand have booked their ticket through to the Rugby League World Cup semi-finals after surviving a thriller against Fiji, taking a 24 points to 18 victory.

The Bati were incredible from start to finish throughout the contest, and it was only in the final ten minutes of the contest that the Kiwis were able to take the lead, and avenge the defeat they suffered at the hands of the Bati during the 2017 quarter-final in Wellington.

With the score locked at 18-all heading into the final ten minutes of the game, it was a controversial captain's challenge as Joseph Manu was ruled to have had the ball raked out, rather than dropping it cold, which allowed the Kiwis to hit the lead with a penalty goal off the boot of Jordan Rapana.

Rapana himself would score the final try in the final minute of the game to stop any chance of a late Fijian fightback after the Bati couldn't capitalise on a number of sets on the Kiwi line.


Fiji had all the running in the game throughout the opening exchanges, scoring the first two tries of the game through Maika Sivo and Kevin Naiqama.

Sivo's effort on the left edge in the 11th minute of the game saw him bulldoze the defence, before Kevin Naiqama, in what has turned out to be the final game of his career, ran a perfect line on the right-hand side, set up by the excellent Sunia Turuva for the second try.

New Zealand's sloppy discipline hurt them throughout the first half, with Fiji on top during the early going.

Sunia Turuva, who was easily the best on ground for the Bati, led the way, while the forwards were able to hold their own against the Kiwis' fearsome pack of forwards.

In what was the best game of the tournament to date, New Zealand would take their opening try through Ronaldo Mulitalo in the 25th minute, but went into halftime behind by 12 points to 6.

Kevin Naiqama would score a second try shortly after halftime, but that's where the fun would stop from Fiji, as the forwards tired.

Sunia Turuva continued to be the best for the Bati, but Joseph Manu continued to inject himself into the game as the Kiwi forwards took over.

Briton Nikora's try in the 48th minute just minutes after Fiji's third try would prove costly as a defender fell off a two-man tackle, before Joseph Manu scored for himself in the 62nd minute to tie the game up.

New Zealand's continued dominance and weight of possession couldn't crack Fiji until the captain's challenge ultimately did.

The Kiwis now take on Australia in next weekend's semi-final.

Match summary

New Zealand 24 (Tries: Ronaldo Mulitalo, Briton Nikora, Joseph Manu, Jordan Rapana; Conversions: Jordan Rapana 3/4; Penalty goal: Jordan Rapana 1/1) defeat Fiji 18 (Tries: Maika Sivo, Kevin Naiqama [2]; Conversions: Brandon Wakeham 3/3)