Top Five 2017: Biggest sporting upsets

Newshub takes a look back at the biggest sporting upsets of 2017.

Fiji beat Kiwis in World Cup quarter-final

The rugby league world was in shock after Fiji stunned the Kiwis 4-2 in their quarter-final clash.

Facing New Zealand on their home turf at the Cake Tin, Fiji grinded out the win in a try-less affair to hand the hosts their earliest ever exit at a world cup in a match the Kiwis never looked like winning.

The loss came just a week after Tonga beat New Zealand to become the first tier two nation to beat a tier one nation, and many expected the locals to bounce back emphatically against the Fijians.

Instead they were dealt a lesson in grit, determination, and defence in a defeat that marked one of NZ rugby league's lowest moments.

Jeff Horn beats Manny Pacquiao to claim WBO title

Described as one of boxing's greatest upsets of all time, Australian Jeff Horn defied the odds to claim the welterweight belt off Manny Pacquiao in front of a sold-out Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Horn has hand raised in victory alongside a stunned Manny Pacquiao.
Horn has hand raised in victory alongside a stunned Manny Pacquiao. Photo credit: Getty

In a bloody and brutal battle which went the distance, the boxing world was stunned when all three judges scored the fight in favour of the former teacher against the eight-division world champion who's widely considered of the three best pound-for-pound fighters of the past 25 years.

Although many journalists and fans were outraged at the judges' decision, the result stood up in the face of review,  as did 'The Hornet' as the most unlikely of world champions.

Sunwolves beat Blues

The win over the Blues was just the third in the Japanese side's short history.
The win over the Blues was just the third in the Japanese side's short history. Photo credit: Getty

In their final Super Rugby match of the season, Japan's unheralded Sunwolves held the Blues scoreless in the second half to claim a famous 48-21 win in Tokyo.

With their season already over and coming off a month-long break due to the June international window, the Aucklanders looked like they had checked out and the locals were more than willing to take advantage.

It was the first time the Sunwolves has beaten any of the New Zealand teams and after enduring such a rocky start to their Super Rugby existence, it was undoubtedly a landmark day for rugby across the land of the rising sun.

Italy fail to qualify for the World Cup

The Azzurri suffered one of its most historic failures in November as the national side missed out on the World Cup Finals for the first time 1958.

It was a shock which rocked the four-time World Cup winners to their very core, a 1-0 loss to Sweden in a two-legged playoff to mark one of the darkest nights in Italian football.

Jakob Johansson's goal in the first leg meant Italy had to pull off something magical in the second leg at San Siro in Milan, but it wasn't to be.

Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon's unabashed tears at fulltime said it all, and there were plenty more being shed across Italy as the proud and passionate footballing nation came to terms with a result it saw as inconceivable.

Italy's talismanic goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was inconsolable post-match.
Italy's talismanic goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was inconsolable post-match. Photo credit: Getty

Rose Namajunas knocks out Joanna Jedrzejcyk

When strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejcyk stepped up into the octagon at UFC 217 it looked as though it would be business as usual for the dangerous Pole who's widely regarded as arguably the premier striker in all of MMA, irrespective of gender.

'Champion' had barely been troubled in her five title defences to date and seemed to be in prime form with her trademark mind games against an opponent widely thought to have been a level below in Rose Namajunas. The bookies were of the same opinion, with the American at the longest odds on the entire card, preliminaries included.

Namajunas' first round KO win shocked the MMA world.
Namajunas' first round KO win shocked the MMA world. Photo credit: Getty

But you would have been forgiven for thinking the roles were reversed once the opening bell sounded, as 'Thug Rose' pushed the pace against the out-of-sorts champion. Namajunas dropped her to the canvas once in the two minutes, then proved it was no fluke just moments later with a searing straight left.

This time she swooped for the kill with blows from the top and consigned Jedrzejcyk to the ignominious fate of tapping to strikes to concede a stunning loss that nobody, except Namajaunas herself, saw coming.

Newshub.