2008 Rugby League World Cup knockout stage
7th Place Playoff: Scotland vs Tonga 
|8 November 2008||Scotland||0 – 48||Tonga||Browne Park, Rockhampton
Referee/s: Shane Hayne
|(report)||Try: Vuna (2)
Goal: Williams (7)
This was the lowest-attended match of the tournament, however it was filled to capacity for a ground that had never seen top-level rugby league before.
9th Place Playoff: Samoa vs France 
|9 November 2008||Samoa||42 – 10||France||CUA Stadium, Penrith
Referee/s: Thierry Alibert
Goal: Roberts (3)
Qualifying Final: Fiji vs Ireland 
Fiji and Ireland, who had finished at the top of their respective groups, faced off at Queensland's Gold Coast. At stake was the chance to play Australia in the semi-final. Fiji had lost prop Iowane Divavesi to a two-match ban for tripping just hours before the match.
1. Jarryd Hayne · 2. Semi Tadulala · 3. Wes Naiqama (c) · 4. Daryl Millard · 5. Akuila Uate · 6. Alipate Tani Noilea · 7. Aaron Groom
8. Nick Bradley-Qalilawa · 9. Waisale Sukanaveita · 10. Ilisoni Vonomateiratu · 11. Ashton Sims · 12. Osea Sadrau · 13. Jayson Bukuya
Interchange: 14. James Storer · 17. Semisi Tora · 18. Sevania Koroi · 22. Kaliova Naqua
Coach: Joe Dakuitoga
1. Michael Platt · 2. Damien Blanch · 3. Sean Gleeson · 4. Stuart Littler · 5. Pat Richards · 6. Scott Grix (c) · 7. Liam Finn
8. Eamon O'Carroll · 9. Bob Beswick · 10. Gareth Haggerty · 11. Ben Harrison · 12. Lee Doran · 13. Simon Finnigan
Interchange: 14. Michael McIlorum · 16. Ged Corcoran · 17. Ryan Tandy · 19. Karl Fitzpatrick
Coach: Andy Kelly
|10 November 2008||Fiji||30 – 14||Ireland||Skilled Park, Gold Coast
Referee/s: Ashley Klein
Man of the Match: Aaron Groom
|Try: Uate (2)
Goals: Naiqama (5/6)
|(report)||Try: Blanch (2)
Goals: Richards (1/4)
Amhrán na bhFiann was performed as the Ireland team's national anthem before the match. Fiji opened the scoring early with their captain Wes Naiqama from the half way line finding space down the right side of the field and scoring on the 2-minute mark. He then converted his own try so the score was 6 nil. About 5 minutes later Ireland responded with their own 50-metre runaway try down the right side thanks to winger Damien Blanch. Pat Richards kicked the extras so the scores were level at 6 all. In the 25th minute Fiji were penalised just over 40 metres out from their own line and the Irish decided to take the shot at goal. Richards' attempt went wide so the score remained unchanged. Fiji scored again about 5 minutes later when from close-range, Akuila Uate ran from dummy half on his wing infield to find a gap in the defence and score near the uprights. Naiqama's conversion was successful so Fiji led 12 - 6. It was Ireland's turn to score again and they did so in the 46th minute when from within Fiji's 10-metre line, captain Scott Grix decided to run from first receiver, charging through a gap and getting the ball down. Richards' kick to level the scores hit the upright and missed, so Fiji remained two points ahead at 12 - 10 and this was the score until half-time.
About a minute into the second half Fiji were up at their opponents' try-line when hooker James Storer ran from dummy half and crashed over but was held up by the defence. After repeated raids on the Irish try-line and despite some enormous drop-outs from Pat Richards, Fiji kept on comiing and scored just on 55 minutes, when from close range Jason Bukuya found a gap in the defence and reached out to plant the ball down. Naiqama's conversion was successful so Fiji led 18 - 10. A few minutes later Fiji were again down close to Ireland's try-line when they got a penalty for a ruck infringement. Naiqama decided to take the shot at goal and didn't miss, so the score was 20 - 10 in favour of Fiji with seventeen minutes left on the clock. Ireland continued to be under siege and 10 metres out from their line, Fiji's halfback Aaron Groom stabbed a kick in behind the defence for Jarryd Hayne to chase and put down after clipping one of the uprights in his haste in the 66th minute. The video referee awarded the try and Naiqama kicked the simple conversion so Fiji had a comfortable lead at 26 - 10. Ten minutes later Fiji scored again after continuing to attack Ireland's line, this time Uate crossing out wide on the right wing. Naiqama's kick from the sideline hit the upright and missed, so with just over 5 minutes of the game remaining, the score was 30 - 10. Ireland got one more chance to attack Fiji's line in the closing minutes and it was Blanch who scored for them again, benfiting from a good offload from Lee Doran close to the try-line. Richards missed the conversion attempt so the final score was Fiji 30, Ireland 14. The Bati would play Australia next, with the winner of that match going to the World Cup Final, while the Irish exited the tournament with A$75,000 prize money.
1st Semi-Final: New Zealand vs England 
In a re-play of both sides' last match, New Zealand once again faced England, this time for the right to play in the World Cup final. English coach Tony Smith left it to within an hour of kick-off before naming his team for the match. Kevin Sinfield was dropped from his position on the bench. Ben Westwood was promoted from the bench to the run-on side. For New Zealand Jason Nightingale was replaceed by Sam Perrett. Sika Manu's faster than expected recovery from an eye socket injury saw his return with David Kidwell dropped in his place.
No British side had won in Brisbane for 46 years. New Zealand had lost their last 8 international matches in the city.
1. Lance Hohaia · 2. Sam Perrett · 3. Simon Mannering · 4. Jerome Ropati · 5. Manu Vatuvei · 6. Benji Marshall · 7. Nathan Fien
8. Nathan Cayless (c) · 9. Thomas Leuluai · 10. Adam Blair · 17. Bronson Harrison · 12. David Fa'alogo · 13. Jeremy Smith
11. Sika Manu · 14. Isaac Luke · 15. Greg Eastwood · 16. Sam Rapira
Coach: Stephen Kearney
1. Paul Wellens · 2. Ade Gardner · 3. Martin Gleeson · 4. Keith Senior · 5. Mark Calderwood · 6. Danny McGuire · 7. Rob Burrow
8. James Graham · 9. James Roby · 10. Jamie Peacock (c) · 11. Ben Westwood · 12. Gareth Ellis · 13. Rob Purdham
14. Leon Pryce · 15. Adrian Morley · 16. Mickey Higham · 17. Jon Wilkin
Coach: Tony Smith
|15 November 2008||New Zealand||32 – 22||England||Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee/s: Shane Hayne
Man of the Match: ?
|Try: Ropati (2)
Goal: Smith (3)
|(report)||Try: McGuire (2)
Goal: Burrow (3)
This time when the Kiwis performed their haka, the England side stood in a line ten metres away and faced them.
In the ninth minute New Zealand were on the attack courtesy of a mistake from England and got the first try of the match, passing to Sam Perrett on the right wing who crossed out wide, then improved his kicker's position before putting the ball down. Jeremy Smith's conversion was successful so England trailed 6 nil. England, also benefitting from some New Zealand mistakes, were attacking the Kiwis' line and threw the ball out wide to the right wing as well and Ade Gardner dived over in the corner just before the fifteen-minute mark. The video referee showed that Gardner's toe touched the sideline before he grounded the ball so the try was not given. Four minutes later the Kiwis were back down at England's end when Lance Hohaia got over for a close-range try. Smith's kick went wide so the score was 10 nil in favour of New Zealand with a quarter of the match gone. Rob Purdham's restart kick went over the sideline on the full so New Zealand got the ball back and in the following set of six they scored again through Jerome Ropati. Smith's kick was good this time, so the Kiwis had 16 unanswered points. Then in the twenty-ninth minute England had an opportunity in attack down at New Zealand's end and kept the ball alive, the ball going to captain Jamie Peacock who forced his way over from close range. Purdham missed the conversion attempt so the score remained 16 - 4 in favour of the Kiwis. A New Zealand knock on less than two minutes from half time saw the English get a scrum a few metres into the opposition's half. In a bold set move from the scrum base, England's loose forward Purdham broke away with the ball and immediately kicked it ahead for Danny Maguire racing through to regather and dive over by the goal posts. The video referee ruled that the chaser was only just in line with the kicker so the try was awarded. Rob Burrow was given the conversion attempt and kicked it, so England were back within a converted try at 16 - 10 at the half-time break.
After a few minutes of the second half, England second-rower Gareth Ellis was forced from the field with a rib injury. Both sides had attacking opportunities during the first 16 minutes of the half, but it was New Zealand's Bronson Harrison who scored first after receiving a good short ball from halfback Nathan Fien on England's twenty metre line which saw him cut through the defence, step past the fullback and score by the uprights. Smith's coversion meant the score was New Zealand 22, England 10 with twenty-two minutes of the match remaining. After a bomb from England which Hohaia failed to take securely, England were on the attack again. They moved the ball out through the hands to the right, and centre Martin Gleeseon dragged himself through the defence to reach out and score in the sixty-first minute. Burrow kicked the sideline conversion so England were back within a converted try of New Zealand at 22 - 16. The Kiwis then got repeat sets down near England's line and were the next to score: Fien kicked the ball over towards the goal posts and as it came down in-goal two English defenders failed to secure it and Jerome Ropati was there to fall onto it. Benji Marshall was given the conversion this time and kicked it successfully so the score was 28 - 16 with ten minutes to go. Three minutes later England gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Maguire found space between New Zealand's defence and ran through it from fifteen metres out to score by the posts. Burrow's conversion meant that England were back within six points with six minutes of the game left to go. However the English were let down by further handling errors and New Zealand were the last to score after England again failed to defend against a bomb out to the left, Marshall putting it down in the corner at the seventy-eighth minute, placing the game beyond doubt. Smith missed the sideline conversion so the final score was 32 - 22. England then went home with A$130,000 prize money and New Zealand had booked a place in the final the following week.
2nd Semi-final: Australia vs Fiji 
|16 November 2008||Australia||52 – 0||Fiji||Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Referee/s: Ashley Klein
Man of the Match: Billy Slater
|Try: Paul Gallen 2'
Brent Tate 5', 16'
Billy Slater 9', 38', 49'
Johnathan Thurston 62', 66', 72'
Greg Inglis 77'
Goal: Johnathan Thurston (6)
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- "RLWC: Fiji d Ireland". austadiums.com. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
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- news.bbc.co.uk (2008-11-10). "Fiji 30-14 Ireland". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- Jackson, Glenn (2008-11-11). "Bula boys bulldoze Ireland, now for more men in green". leaguehq.com.au (Fairfax Digital). Archived from the original on 19 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-19.[dead link]
- Laybourn, Ian (2008-11-10). "Ireland 14 Fiji 30". sportinglife.com (365 Media Group Ltd). Retrieved 2009-09-19.
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- Davis, Greg (15 November 2008). "Nathan Fien helps New Zealand into World Cup final". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
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