Haka may prove key for NZ: Benny - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Haka may prove key for NZ: Benny

Laine Clark 10/11/2010 08:58:20 PM Comments (0)

One of the great coaching recluses surprisingly provided a very public insight into New Zealand ahead of the Four Nations final on Saturday night.

Seven-time premiership winner Wayne Bennett was the unlikely man to lift the lid on the Kiwis in Brisbane on Wednesday.

But perhaps what was more surprising was the burning issue the media-shy mentor highlighted for New Zealand.

Bennett said getting the haka right may prove crucial to overcoming the odds and downing Australia at Suncorp Stadium.

He said while their epic 24-man haka ahead of last weekend's 30-24 loss to Australia looked great it may have proven their downfall.

"Their haka is a huge issue for them," he told a Men in League charity function in Brisbane.

"I think it was an issue for them the other night...(due to) the amount of emotion they put into the haka."

Former Test hardman Gorden Tallis backed Bennett's call.

"They burn up so much energy (during the haka)," he said.

"I was talking to one of the All Blacks and he was saying after he finished the haka he loved the way the Wallabies kept their track suits on (during the pre-game ritual).

"It gave them several minutes to get their body right again.

"He said they were so fatigued after the haka, and obviously the other night they put so much into it (before the 34-20 loss)."

Bennett also revealed just how much he had to boost their confidence when he first began working as a consultant for the Kiwis' 2008 World Cup campaign.

But it worked - they upset Australia in the World Cup final and Bennett has worked as a consultant to coach Stephen Kearney since.

"The other thing is they are always looking over their shoulder because they think we (Australia) are better than they are," Bennett said.

"So it (World Cup) was about building their confidence, and letting them know they are playing as hard as our people."

But Bennett was not so forthcoming when inevitably asked if he would return to the Broncos, where he won six NRL titles.

"I don't know what is out there in front of me," he said.

"I have one more year to go at the Dragons I have made no commitment past that.

"The best thing I did was making no commitments this year with regards to the future.

"I will sort myself out, see what is available, where I want to coach, what I want to do and go from there."

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