Ki­wis fo­cus on at­tack

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Feed­back: os­eab@fi­jisun.com.fj

The pres­sure is on the Ki­wis to fix their mis­fir­ing at­tack as they at­tempt to lock up a place in the Four Na­tions fi­nal. With Eng­land need­ing to up­set Aus­tralia in their fi­nal round-robin match, the Ki­wis can put one foot in next week’s de­cider at An­field with a big vic­tory over Scot­land in Work­ing­ton on Satur­day. If Eng­land do man­age to stun the Kan­ga­roos on Mon­day, the fi­nal­ists are likely to be de­ter­mined by points dif­fer­ence, with the Ki­wis cur­rently 30 points be­hind the hosts and 53 adrift of the Aussies. While New Zealand should be far too good for the win­less Scots, it does put the fo­cus on their at­tack, which has come nowhere close to click­ing in four tests this year. They showed glimpses of im­prove­ment in the 17-16 win over Eng­land but took a step back dur­ing last week’s six­point de­feat to Aus­tralia and have gen­er­ally strug­gled for co­he­sion with the ball.

“In the last cou­ple of tests, ex­e­cu­tion has re­ally dis­ap­pointed us,” full­back Jor­dan Kahu said. “A few mis­takes have led to missed op­por­tu­ni­ties so we’ve just been work­ing on all that kind of stuff and mak­ing sure ev­ery­one’s at the right place at the right time. “We know if we can all gel and make sure that we’re play­ing at the best then we’ll be fine who­ever we come up against.”

The Ki­wis’ sit­u­a­tion has cre­ated a se­lec­tion dilemma for coach David Kid­well.

Five of the 24-man tour­ing party has yet to play a game - James Fisher- Har­ris, Joseph Tap­ine, Te Maire Martin, David Fusitu’a and Dallin Watene-Zelez­niak - while Jared Waerea-Har­g­reaves and Ja­son Nightin­gale both trained fully on Wed­nes­day and could come into con­sid­er­a­tion af­ter sit­ting out last week through in­jury.

Fol­low­ing two bruis­ing en­coun­ters with Eng­land and Aus­tralia, Kid­well may well want to ro­tate his play­ers, al­though he runs the risk of dis­rupt­ing the com­bi­na­tions that have been build­ing over the last month.

But Kahu has full faith in the fringe play­ers to step up if re­quired. “They ob­vi­ously de­serve a shot. They’ve been push­ing us at train­ing and mak­ing sure we’re fight­ing for our po­si­tions,” he added. “But I know if Scot­land were com­ing to New Zealand, we’d def­i­nitely put our best team on the park.” Mean­while, Scot­land coach Steve McCor­mack has warned the Ki­wis to ex­pect a hos­tile re­cep­tion at Der­went Park with both Scot­tish and English sup­port­ers des­per­ate to see them go down.

“It will be a fan­tas­tic at­mos­phere at Work­ing­ton,” McCor­mack told the Evening Ex­press. “They will come out and pack that ground and they will want to see Scot­land do well.

“There’s a lot of proud English­men in west Cum­bria as well so they’ll want the Ki­wis to get beat. I’m sure there’ll be lots of English­men sup­port­ing the Scots. That’s what we need.” - Stuff

Shaun John­son

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