What happened to New Zealand’s pride and passion?

Gazbo Roar Guru

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    As a proud and passionate supporter of the New Zealand rugby league team it pained me to see the Kiwis lose to Fiji in their quarter-final Match at Wellington.

    It was the manner in which they lost which was the most disappointing. The lack of intensity and passion and the way that the Kiwis were out-muscled and out-enthused by the Fijians was difficult to watch, and you could have sworn that Fiji were the tier-one nation rather than New Zealand.

    That is to take nothing away from the Fijians, who dominated possession and territory for large portions of the match due in no small part to the repeated handling errors made by the Kiwis. Were it not for the defensive efforts of the Kiwis, they would have lost by a far greater margin than the final scoreline of 4-2.

    Sure, it’s easy to blame the destabilising effect that the defection by Jason Taumalolo to Tonga had on the team, but New Zealand should still have been able to overcome his loss and that of some other players – yet after appearing to be a galvanised and united team at the start of the tournament, the wheels started to fall off as the competition progressed.

    The writing was on the wall after their meek capitulation in the second half of their third-round match against Tonga.

    The lack of leadership, guidance and potency was clearly evident without players such as Kieran Foran, Jesse Bromwich and Shaun Kenny Dowall.

    The hardest thing of all to cop though was to see Adam Blair’s nonchalant responses to some of the questions at the post-match press conference. Where was the hurt and anger at having lost a match that they could and should have won at the Rugby League World Cup?

    If New Zealand Rugby League is fair dinkum, then there’ll be a comprehensive review after the World Cup and heads will roll, with David Kidwell and Adam Blair unlikely to retain their positions. Sure, they weren’t wholly or solely responsible for the Kiwis’ early exit, but sport at the top level now is very much results-driven.

    I would have thought being knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the Rugby League World Cup is far from a pass mark.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • November 20th 2017 @ 8:57am
      Cedric said | November 20th 2017 @ 8:57am | ! Report

      I was worried after the first 40mins against Samoa, a team with a lack of top level halves and Frank playing big minutes. I saw in that game the Kiwis’ did not take command of the middle.
      Then came Tonga who at 40mins were done, so when the ref made some bad calls where was our Captain asking the ref ” what’s going on here “. Nothing they just played on, I know if Mannering was captain he would have approached the ref on every occasion. Then a collapse…….
      The Fiji game just showed they had no………well everything, well maybe reasonable defence.
      The after match interview with Coach and captain was bizarre. They both sounded like politicians and said about the excellence they had achieved within the team and the respect they had found for the jersey.
      Sounds like there is a very different culture in the Kiwis’ camp these days and winning is only a piece of the puzzle.
      Coach has to resign, surely he would not wait to be fired and Blair should go as he as captain never challenged the refs , never stopped the rot and never fired a shot.
      I also think that the NZRL made a big call in standing down Bromich and Proctor for 12 months. They made a statement, I thought it was too harsh at the time, they were not charged, Bromich even went on tv about his failures. I think these guys are good people but did the wrong thing and they along with the rest of NZ paid a big price.
      I thought Bluey McClennan on NZ TV after the game said it all and I could see he, like so many kiwis, was ashamed and embarrassed.

    • November 20th 2017 @ 1:28pm
      PB said | November 20th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

      They were gutted morale wise, absolutely eviscerated, by the surprise defections, even without the loss of the talismanic talent. NZ will have to lawyer up against defectioneers ripping off the NZRL next time. Taking the spots of true national representatives then wandering off when it suits is beyond the pale.

    • November 20th 2017 @ 3:56pm
      Joe said | November 20th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

      Too many Maoris in the team, need more islanders LoL “Bula Vinaka ,, Malo leleii,, Talofa lava

      • November 22nd 2017 @ 11:05am
        Shinobi said | November 22nd 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

        What was the Samoans excuse then? Too mans Sa’s? Talofa

        • November 22nd 2017 @ 4:00pm
          Joe said | November 22nd 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

          same as The Kiwi’s to many Maoris bro! Might as well call it the Nz maoris Kia Ora bro

    • November 20th 2017 @ 6:55pm
      Terry Tavita said | November 20th 2017 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

      fijians are better suited at rugby league..they’re big, tall, swift and slick with great ball handling skills..wasn’t really surprised..

    • November 21st 2017 @ 3:15pm
      republican said | November 21st 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

      ……interesting distinction re Fijians, Tongans, Maoris, Samoans et el is that Fijians are Melanesian rather than Micronesian or Polynesian…….

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 7:48pm
      GD66 said | November 22nd 2017 @ 7:48pm | ! Report

      Kiwis suffering from Warriors disease. Too bloody lazy.

      News Flash : just going round is not enough !

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