Dark day for International League

ARL chairman Colin Love has described the decision to strip New Zealand of its Tri-Nations points and ban Nathan Fien from the tournament as one of darkest days in the history of international rugby league.

Love, who chaired the sub-committee which handed out the penalty, said they had little option if they were to protect the integrity of the competition. Fien was ruled ineligible to represent the Kiwis because he was claiming heritage through his great-grandmother and not his grandmother.

Kiwis selector Darrell Williams blames incompetent New Zealand Rugby League administration for the Nathan Fien fiasco that cost the team two points in the Tri-Nations.

Williams is angry he was kept out of the information loop and had been telling anyone who asked that the NZRL wouldn't knowingly breach rules.

The Kiwis and Great Britain are now both on zero competition points, setting up a pivotal clash between them in Wellington on Saturday week. The Lions first play Australia with both sides to have their final training runs later today ahead of tomorrow night's Aussie Stadium encounter.

New Zealand can still qualify for the Tri-Nations final by beating Great Britain on November 11, provided Australia wins both games against Britain.