Des­per­ate Ki­wis aim to avoid sweep

Taranaki Daily News - - Sport -

They may only have pride to play for in Eng­land but se­nior prop Jesse Bromwich is con­fi­dent the Ki­wis are still on the right track un­der Michael Maguire.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing in the UK full of hope fol­low­ing last month’s win over Aus­tralia, the Ki­wis now find them­selves head­ing into the third and fi­nal test against Eng­land des­per­ate to avoid a clean sweep.

While New Zealand have not been far off the pace, their per­for­mances have been char­ac­terised by a lack of com­po­sure and ex­e­cu­tion, with lapses in con­cen­tra­tion cost­ing them dearly at the back end of both tests. Bromwich played a key part in the last suc­cess­ful Ki­wis pe­riod in 2014-15, when they won the Four Na­tions and recorded three-straight vic­to­ries over the Kan­ga­roos. De­spite their in­abil­ity to fin­ish the job in Eng­land, the Storm front-rower sees sim­i­lar­i­ties with the way the cur­rent squad is united be­hind Maguire and the level of pro­fes­sion­al­ism the coach is try­ing to in­stil. But only time will tell if they are able to learn from this ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘We’re def­i­nitely head­ing in that di­rec­tion,’’ Bromwich said. ‘‘Madge [Maguire] is do­ing a great job and all the staff are work­ing over­time try­ing to get us pre­pared as best they can.

‘‘It’s a re­ally pro­fes­sional en­vi­ron­ment at the mo­ment and some­thing that I’ve re­ally en­joyed. We haven’t got the re­sults but, gees, we’ve put some ef­fort in and hope­fully that’s just around the cor­ner.’’

A win at El­land Road on Sun­day (Mon­day) would cer­tainly help boost morale head­ing into the off-sea­son.

The Ki­wis have strug­gled to con­vert at­tack­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties through­out the se­ries but Bromwich said they would not be re­vamp­ing their style.

Af­ter mak­ing 11 er­rors at An­field last week and com­plet­ing un­der 70 per cent of their sets, he said there was no se­cret as to where they need to im­prove.

‘‘We’ve put in a lot of ef­fort which is a credit to all the boys but we’ve just been do­ing some silly things,’’ Bromwich added. ‘‘Last week we had six er­rors at the back end of the sec­ond half . . . you’re never go­ing to win a foot­ball game giv­ing away that much pos­ses­sion.

‘‘If we fix that up we’ll be a much bet­ter team and hope­fully we can go out this week and com­plete well, com­pete and play some good foot­ball.’’

Af­ter mak­ing just one change for the sec­ond test, Maguire may use this week­end’s game to blood younger squad mem­bers.

NRL rookie of the year Ja­mayne Isaako is in con­tention to re­place wing Jor­dan Ra­pana, who was forced to re­turn home due to a dis­lo­cated shoul­der.

Bromwich was full of praise for Isaako and all the rook­ies in the squad but, as a for­ward, it was War­riors back-rower Isa­iah Pa­pali’i who had par­tic­u­larly caught his eye.

‘‘He hasn’t had a game yet but I’ve been im­pressed by the way he goes about his busi­ness for such a young guy. He was the cap­tain of the Ju­nior Ki­wis, played well in that game and he’s im­pressed me with the way he does the lit­tle things, look­ing af­ter him­self off the field and train­ing hard on the field.’’

Jesse Bromwich and the Ki­wis have en­dured a dis­ap­point­ing se­ries.

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