Kearney ready for England backlash against bad luck

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney believes that the England team are much better than their results over the last few years suggest.

Kearney feels that the England team under coach Steve McNamara has suffered misfortune in big games, such as last year’s Four Nations Test against Australia, and the 2013 World Cup semi-final against the Kiwis.

For that reason, he is urging his players to be aware that England will be highly motivated. He also feels that there is more quality in the England ranks now than there has been for many years.

“We have a clear understanding of the challenge we have ahead of us,” he said.

“Certainly, with the English team which has been selected, it is, for me, one of the best sides I’ve seen selected over the last couple of years.

“I thought they were very unlucky in the 2014 Four Nations tournament not to finish higher.

“They should have won the game in Melbourne against Australia, I thought it was a toss of the coin.

“Against ourselves in Dunedin, they played a fantastic match.

“If you take yourself back to 2013, we were certainly fortunate to come up with a play with a minute or so to go in the semi-final.

“So I think the England side has been tracking along very well over the last couple of years without a great deal of luck or success.

“So for us, it’s about understanding the challenge ahead of us.

“We know what’s coming, and I know if we turn up and take our best performance to the stadium, then we give ourselves a great opportunity.

“It’s best not to disregard what England bring.”

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