Kearney: Kiwi performance unacceptable

New Zealand head coach Stephen Kearney has branded his side’s performance against Australia as unacceptable.

The Kiwis suffered a 42-6 loss to Australia at Ausgrid Stadium in Newcastle on Sunday having been 26-0 down at the half-time interval.

The two teams meet again in the opening match of the Gillette Four Nations at Warrington in two weeks’ time (Friday 28th October).

“The effort wasn’t acceptable from our jumper,” said Kearney. “We’ll be working very hard over the next two weeks.

“You’ve got to get yourself in the game against Australia. You’ve got to hold on to the footy and we didn’t do that well enough.

“If you don’t hold on to the footy you’re giving Australia good field position and over the course of the game you’re going to get exposed.”

New Zealand captain Benji Marshall agreed with Kearney’s assessment of the performance, saying: “We’ve got some pretty disappointed boys in our sheds … we expected better of ourselves.

“It’s an international rugby league game, so we’re representing our country, and quite frankly today we all agreed it just wasn’t good enough.

“It’s just not good enough and as an international team we recognised that, and we all pointed out that we want to improve.”

Kiwi hooker Isaac Luke also had harsh words to describe the New Zealand performance, describing it as: “a s**t performance, not good enough at all.

“There’s no excuses – we trained well this week, we know we are better than that. I am not too sure why we played so bad, but if we do it again in England we’ll get smashed again.”

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