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Bennett warns Kiwis have the talent

30/03/2005 07:21:17 PM Comments (0)

National coach Wayne Bennett says New Zealand now boast the talent to match Australia on the rugby league field.

Three weeks out from the traditional Anzac Day battle with the Kiwis in Brisbane, Bennett has acknowledged New Zealand pose a genuine threat to the world champion Kangaroos' dominance.

"If you look at the talent I honestly believe the New Zealanders have probably got as much talent as Australia, if not more," Bennett said, referring to the emergence of Sonny Bill Williams and Benji Marshall, at a State of Origin function in Brisbane.

Australia walloped Great Britain in the final of the Tri Nations series in England late last year.

But Bennett said it was a lucky night during which the Kangaroos "clicked" after some very tough lead-up games.

New Zealand officials are desperately hoping Brisbane's teenage sensation Karmichael Hunt has a late change of heart and plays next month's Anzac Test.

But Kiwi coach Daniel Anderson said he understood the youngster's decision.

"Of course the New Zealand rugby league would like Karmichael to play for the Kiwis," said Anderson.

"Karmichael has a valid argument.

"He's played all his senior football in Queensland and in Brisbane.

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