New Zealand's Olympic dream over

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Lynn McConnell     11 Aug 2016     Getty Images

Having lost to Britain 19-21 earlier in the day New Zealand qualified for the play-offs by virtue of points scored, but Fiji ensured New Zealand had little possession to mount a concerted bid for redemption, especially during the second half.


New Zealand's injury woes continued with captain Scott Curry unable to play in both games due to a haematoma while Joe Webber and Sonny Bill Williams were also first day victims.

New Zealand attempted to apply defensive pressure in the slippery, wet conditions but it was Fiji's ability, largely helped by the power of Josua Tuisova, to hold onto the ball that saw it score first through captain Osea Kolinisau.

New Zealand lost Rieko Ioane for a dangerous tackle just before half-time but Fiji were penalised in the resulting play and New Zealand kicked to the corner for a lineout.

They won that five metres out from the line and Gillies Kaka, the first receiver, put a kick over the Fijian defence and won the race to touchdown in-goal.

With the successful conversion New Zealand led 7-5 at the break.

Restored to full-strength, New Zealand again attempted to apply the defensive pressure but the Fijians proved adept at securing the ball while the desperation of the New Zealanders on the occasions they had the ball resulted in too many penalties being conceded.

Fiji got back in front with a try to Jerry Tuwai and by holding onto the ball for long periods they were able to deny New Zealand who now face playing for a ranking position between fifth and eighth at the event.

Curry afterwards said the side had done what they intended defensively but got no breaks and he said it felt like no calls went their way.

The side now had nothing to lose and would go into the third day looking to enjoy the occasion.

Fijian captain Kolinisau, who now is all but assured of leading his side to Fiji's first Olympic Games medal, said he was really happy with the win.

While New Zealand had lost twice in pool play Fiji knew they would come out fighting and they had done that.

"It was a really tough game and I'm glad the win went our way today.

"We knew they had strength outside and they turn over a lot of ball out there and they pride themselves in the ruck so we worked hard to keep our game going and get away from the ruck area," he said.

Earlier, New Zealand lost to Britain 19-21.

Dan Norton scored the first of three first-half tries with James Davies and Norton scoring again before the break. The speed Britain applied caught New Zealand napping.

Turning 0-21 down, New Zealand came out firing with Rieko Ioane driving over after securing a loose ball and then Regan Ware scored almost immediately. Sam Dickson got New Zealand within two with a converted try but Britain were able to secure the ball in the last phases to claim the win.

Elsewhere in the quarter finals, Japan kept their sensational Olympics run going by beating France 12-7, South Africa remained unbeaten with a polished 22-5 win over Australia and Great Britain snuck home in extra time versus Argentina 5-0.

Tomorrow, New Zealand face France in the 5th-8th playoff at 4.30am NZT before the historic semi-finals. Tournament favourites Fiji take on the surprise package Japan in one semi-final while Great Britain plays South Africa in the other. Click here for all the fixtures.