Nightingale insists NZ will keep same style


New Zealand winger Jason Nightingale says the Kiwis won’t change their attacking, off-loading playing style ahead of the second Test in London.

The men in black dropped several balls and many passes went astray, particularly in the second half, as they fell 26-12 to England in the opening Test.

But Nightingale is adamant they won’t tone down their high-octane, risky off-loading game.

“No definitely not. I think that’s the only way under the one ref system you can generate any sort of momentum,” he said.

“As you saw their offloads as well, and their ruck play, created second phase. We just need to execute a bit better.

“We probably don’t need to push every offload and you can’t, otherwise you’ll make errors.

“But definitely when the ruck is a little bit slower you do rely on second phase because there isn’t as much momentum generated in the play-the-ball.”

New Zealand struggled at times under referee Ben Thaler, with their players used to a two referee system employed in the NRL.

Nightingale insisted, however, that Stephen Kearney’s team cannot use that as an excuse.

“We’ve got to accept the rules we’re playing under,” he said.

“They’re a little bit different than what we’re used to in the NRL.

“But we can’t drop our heads.

“And I think their momentum, we let their momentum grow and it grew in the second half and that was our main problem.

“It’s how you react to everything. I think we could have to their first try – it didn’t look the best but it was a try.

“If we would’ve had more people around the ball, and played to the whistle, then we might have been able to stop it.

“But yeah, our reaction is more than important than the decision itself.

“Our reactions weren’t good enough off that no try, or in the second half at all.”

Australian referee Gerard Sutton will be in charge for the second Test at the Olympic Stadium.

“That’ll obviously be interpretations that we’re more used to,” Nightingale admitted.

“That’s probably the way it should be with a neutral ref.

“But at the same time we’re playing in England, it should be fair enough to play in their conditions.

“Our competitions are very similar but different in a few areas as well.”

Nightingale maintained that New Zealand will look at the positives from the match in Hull this week and not get too negative about their performance at the KC Stadium.

“We can’t get too down on ourselves, we did a lot of good things out there,” he added.

“We learnt a lot of lessons and we know the direction we’re headed.

“We lost our way a little bit in the second half and weren’t managed to complete as many sets as we were in the first half.

“We were still managing as many offloads, it’s just we executed a lot better and the passes were sticking.

“That’s the good thing about a six-day turnaround, you don’t have too long to lick your wounds.

“When you are in a three match series you can’t spend too much time dwelling on the past because you’re about to play the same team again.”