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Kiwis against Nelson Asofa-Solomona's three-game ban, Shaun Johnson says

New Zealand star Shaun Johnson believes the three-game ban on Nelson Asofa- Solomona is unfair, but backs him to return to the international fold next year.

The Kiwis will be without Asofa-Solomona for their three end-of-season Tests after the Melbourne prop was suspended for his wild brawl in Bali last week.

There has been some debate over the punishment given Asofa-Solomona was retaliating to an alleged king hit on teammate Suliasi Vunivalu.

The towering prop was also issued with a $15,000 suspended fine.

"Everyone's obviously got their opinion on it. The majority of us are probably against the decision that's been laid, but it is what it is," Johnson told AAP.

"But I know Nelson will cop it and we'll get him back next year."

In the meantime, New Zealand will have to show some fight on the field after being humbled 25-12 by Australia in their opening game of the World Cup nines.

The defeat leaves the Kiwis needing to win at least one of their remaining pool games against Papua New Guinea or USA to advance to the semi-finals.

Johnson was easily New Zealand's most dangerous player against the Kangaroos, setting up a try and creating another line break.

However, the Cronulla playmaker admitted the team struggled with the basics against the tournament favourites, who completed 10 of their 11 sets.

"The game goes fast, especially when you give away cheap ball. Defence, ball control, it's something we spoke about leading into this game," he said.

"It's the same as the 13-a-side game. You don't have over-think it.

"But it's game one of the tournament. Any time you have your first hitout, you learn more when you get out there and are in game-like situations."

It is unclear whether New Zealand, who are already without the injured Jesse Bromwich and James Fisher-Harris will look to replace Asofa-Solomona.

Joseph Tapine is also unavailable for the Test against Australia in Wollongong next week due to suspension.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona. Source: Photosport


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