Kuki players to face Fiji

Tuesday November 14, 2017 Written by Published in League
Brad Takairangi, left, leading the Kiwis in their haka. 17111338 Brad Takairangi, left, leading the Kiwis in their haka. 17111338

Despite the Kiwis’ shock loss against Tonga over the weekend, the Kuki duo of Brad Takairangi and Jordan Rapana continue to roll as they were named in the starting line up to play in the quarter final against Fiji this Friday.

 

While Kiwis coach David Kidwell decided to make a couple of changes ahead of the knockout clash, dropping Thomas Leuluai and Kodi Nikorima for Danny Levi and Te Maire Martin respectively, the places of the former Cook Islands reps were likely never in doubt.

Rapana dotted down in the 22-28 defeat to Tonga in Hamilton, and has been the arguably most reliable outside back in the New Zealand setup.

Takairangi meanwhile has established himself as a key starter after only making his debut earlier in the tournament.

The Parramatta centre will be partnered by Dean Whare, who’s injury earlier in the campaign actually opened the door for Takairangi to establish himself as a week in, week out starter.

Kidwell called the loss a blessing in disguise, although the path to the final has become much more difficult.

Now they will face Australia next week if they defeat Fiji, instead of England, who was expected pre-tournament.

In the other quarters, Samoa will play the Kangaroos, the sensational Tonga will face Lebanon and Papua New Guinea will battle England.

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