Kiwi Fien hits back at Aussie critics - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kiwi Fien hits back at Aussie critics

By Laine Clark 14/11/2010 12:31:43 PM Comments (0)

According to Queensland born-and-bred Nathan Fien, his controversial allegiance to the New Zealand rugby league team is not an issue any more.

But Fien's body language after the Kiwis' incredible 16-12 Four Nations final win over Australia - and in fact, his language in general - told a different story.

Mt Isa-born Fien backed up Kiwi skipper Benji Marshall to score a remarkable 79th minute match-winning try at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

He then picked up the ball and booted it deep into the stadium in what initially appeared to be an act of celebration.

But after hearing Fien post-match, it may yet have been out of frustration.

Following his now infamous "Grannygate" controversy, Fien could be forgiven for thinking representing New Zealand is a touchy subject.

Yet Fien said it was not an issue - that was until he read Tommy Raudonikis' thoughts on Saturday.

The former Test halfback all but branded Fien a turncoat in a News Limited report on Saturday, re-opening old wounds that had clearly been festering since his ill-fated 2006 Kiwi debut.

"It hasn't been an issue until I read the f***ing paper," Fien said.

"I made my decision back in 2006. I wear the jersey very proudly.

"Not just for myself and my family but for all the people who have worn it before me.

"I go out there and do my job because the boys make me feel very welcome."

Yet it all could have been so different for the Queensland-born playmaker on Saturday night.

Fien admitted winger Jason Nightingale's pass to Marshall in the lead-up to his match-winner could have been deemed forward.

Australian skipper Darren Lockyer touched the ball as it appeared to float forward, only for Marshall and then Fien to combine and seal the result.

"You have to play to the whistle," Fien said of Nightingale's dubious pass.

"Fortunately the bounce of the ball went our way - it could have gone the Aussies' way."

His try denied a fitting farewell in what loomed as the final Test on home soil for Lockyer - who coincidentally played alongside Fien in the Kiwi halfback's only Origin clash for Queensland in 2001.

"Hats off to the boys, we needed to bounce back from last week (the 34-20 Four Nations loss to Australia)," Fien said.

"We couldn't look each other in the eye after that performance.

"So to come out and test the Aussies, we are very pleased."

Indeed Fien appears to have had the last laugh on all of his knockers.

The Four Nations victory capped a huge year for Fien who came back from injury to help the Dragons claim the 2010 NRL premiership.

"Personally it has been a massive year after the broken leg in round one," he said.

"But I don't want to focus on me.

"I played my role. Just to get selected again I was pleased about - I am one of the proudest boys."

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