Kearney eyes Four Nations final turnaround - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kearney eyes Four Nations final turnaround

07/11/2010 06:40:26 PM Comments (0)

If there was a silver lining for New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney following the Kiwis' Four Nations loss to Australia, it's that he doesn't think his side could play any worse.

The Kiwis went down 34-20 in Auckland on Saturday night in the tournament's last pool fixture, which served as a dress rehearsal with the two sides to meet in the final on Saturday night.

There had been plenty of expectation among local fans at a refurbished Eden Park, but despite seven changes to their 17, the Kangaroos had too much pace and precision as they ran in six tries to three.

Kearney was at a loss to explain the performance, but was confident of a rebound at Suncorp Stadium.

"Probably the positive thing for us is that we have a lot of improvement in us," Kearney said.

"I'm confident that we will batten down the hatches and make sure we prepare as well as we can for next week."

Crucial to that will be the injury report on Frank Pritchard, who aggravated a knee injury on Saturday night.

The Canterbury-bound backrower was still hopeful of being fit for the final, but with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Bronson Harrison also available for selection, Kearney could make some adjustments for the decider.

The Kiwis have now won just one of the past 13 transtasman clashes.

However, for those looking for a good omen, that sole success came at next week's venue, with New Zealand having scored a stunning upset two years ago to claim the World Cup in Brisbane.

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