News | Rugby League
21 Mar 2018 2:26
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    England coach backs Kiwis to rebound

    England coach Wayne Bennett is confident the Kiwis can rebound from their shock exit at the Rugby League World Cup, and has defended skipper Adam Blair.

    - article from

    Stephen Kearney
    Stephen Kearney

    Reports of the demise of New Zealand rugby league have been greatly exaggerated, England coach Wayne Bennett believes.

    Bennett has also backed Kiwis skipper Adam Blair, who has played under him for the last three years at the Brisbane Broncos, as the right man for the job.

    The Kiwis were turfed out of the Rugby League World Cup in Saturday's quarter-final, beaten 4-2 by Fiji in Wellington after earlier losing 28-22 to Tonga.

    Coach David Kidwell is considering his future, joining Blair and playmaker Shaun Johnson in copping criticism for post-match comments following the shock defeat.

    Blair said afterwards the Kiwis had set high standards, and he was proud of what had been created, while Johnson said doubting fans and media had "got your way" with the defeat.

    New Zealand Rugby League chairman Reon Edwards has since apologised for the comments, saying they were inappropriate and unnecessary.

    Bennett, assistant coach to Stephen Kearney when the Kiwis won the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, said he was confident the New Zealanders would rebound from their disastrous 2017 campaign.

    "New Zealand will come back from that," he told media in Auckland ahead of England's semi-final against Tonga on Saturday.

    "I think we all expected that they would be in the semi-final phase, but Fiji to their credit, and Tonga, played well and got the rewards."

    Bennett said Blair's post-match comments, and those from Johnson, were made straight after the loss when emotions were rawest.

    "It's when we're at our most vulnerable," he said.

    "So what we say at those times might not be what we're really feeling. He was just trying to get his emotions together - he'd just played his heart out for his country, because that's what Adam does.

    "I just think it's terribly unfair, the amount of pressure they have come under so quickly.

    "They're young men, not experienced at it to that extent as well, and their country's just been beaten. It's not easy."


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

     Other Rugby League News
     20 Mar: Cowboys not lost without Morgan: Green
     20 Mar: Benji unsure of role in Tigers' NRL halves
     19 Mar: NRL's duty to help reform players: Auva'a
     19 Mar: NRL may announce two Immortals: Greenberg
     19 Mar: Dogs need to be mentally tougher: Woods
     19 Mar: NRL Raiders in difficult situation: Stuart
     18 Mar: Manly romp to biggest NRL win over Eels
     Top Stories

    Messam itching to tackle Leitch in Tokyo More...

    NZ shares down; Synlait, Fonterra fall More...

     Today's News

    Law and Order:
    Chinese authorities use facial recognition, public shaming to crack down on jaywalking, criminals 22:35

    Rugby League:
    Cowboys not lost without Morgan: Green 21:55

    French Montana has helped open a new hospital in Uganda 21:45

    Kagiso Rabada cleared to play third Test 21:45

    Eddie Redmayne has become a father for the second time 21:15

    Rihanna is a huge fan of 'Breaking Bad' thanks to Drake 20:45

    Kylie Minogue insists she isn't "lonely" despite being single 20:15

    Cory Michael Smith has come out as gay 19:45

    Law and Order:
    Listeria outbreak: Sixth person dies in NSW 19:45

    Law and Order:
    Body of Alison Raspa, Australian woman missing in Canada, found in Alpha Lake near Whistler 19:25

     News Search

    Power Search

    © 2018 New Zealand City Ltd