The smallest tournament of qualifying was Oceania, but Australia and New Zealand were solid teams and had a good match up to be. It was the first match up of the tournament in Aukland. Jordan Kyne led the Aussies over the All Greys in a hard fought, back and forth game. The two best teams in the league got their match up out of the way, with Australia having the upper hand in the group. Fiji and Tahiti had their game in Christchurch, the Tahitian team’s game plan worked in shutting down the Fiji enforcers, leading to a 10 point low scoring win.
New Zealand had the task of fighting back and hoping the Australians lost twice, the only way they could advance. The All Greys thumped Fiji by 24, and did their side of the deal in Dunedin. Australia came out fast against Tahiti in Wellington, ruining the dreams of New Zealand, who could only hope to tie the Australians’ record, but lose on head to head.
New Zealand had one more game against Tahiti for pride. They won easily by 21, sending the Wellington team home with some sort of prize. The Aussies were wrapping up their New Zealand tour against Fiji, and the 8th best team in the world only looked better, a large win against the 0-2 Fiji team who had no shot from the beginning.