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New Zealand Remain Second Despite Rugby League World Cup Shocker

  The Kiwis have remained second in the international rugby league rankings, despite their shocking performance at the World Cup, while Tonga have surged into the top four. The David
10 Dec 2017 12:38
New Zealand Remain Second Despite Rugby League World Cup Shocker
Vodafone Fijian Bati players show their joy after beating New Zealand 4-2 during the Rugby League World Cup quarterfinals at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Zimbio

 

The Kiwis have remained second in the international rugby league rankings, despite their shocking performance at the World Cup, while Tonga have surged into the top four.

The David Kidwell-coached side suffered consecutive losses to tier two nations on the way to recording New Zealand’s worst World Cup result, bowing out in the quarterfinals with an embarrassing 4-2 defeat to the Vodafone Fijian Batiw.

Australia maintain their place at the top after beating England 6-0 in last week’s final, although the English have remained in third place despite reaching their first World Cup decider since 1995.

 

BIG JUMP

Tonga’s reward for reaching the semifinals, which included stunning the Kiwis in pool play, is to jump from 11th to fourth, one place ahead of fellow semifinalists Fiji.

But after such a successful campaign, spearheaded by former Kiwis lock Jason Taumalolo, Tonga coach Kristian Woolf does not want to have to wait until the 2021 tournament to face the top sides again.

“The Mate Ma’a’s move is just reward for a very strong year including a great world cup campaign,” Woolf told Stuff.

“It is something we want to continue, with the opportunity to be involved in more international games in the future and the ability to compete against the top three nations.”

Lebanon also earned a significant rise, up to ninth from 18th, while Papua New Guinea jumped six places to 10th after both teams made the quarterfinals.

 

TEST FOOTBALL

Rugby League International Federation chief executive David Collier congratulated the major movers and believes test football will only continue to become more competitive.

“What we have seen is that the success of the World Cup has reinvigorated the international game, even more fixtures are being arranged across the tiers and that will have a reflection in future rankings as past results gradually degrade,” Collier said.

 

TEST RANKINGS

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. England
  4. Tonga
  5. Fiji
  6. Samoa
  7. Scotland
  8. France
  9. Lebanon
  10. Papua New Guinea.

 

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

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