Bailey says Kiwis will be stronger - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bailey says Kiwis will be stronger

By Brent Read 21/04/2004 09:29:48 PM Comments (0)

Australian forward Luke Bailey predicted New Zealand would be stronger without its forward leader and enforcer Ruben Wiki, who was suspended by the NRL judiciary.

Wiki was hit with a five-match suspension by the NRL judiciary following his tackle on Cronulla's Jason Stevens while playing for Canberra at the weekend.

Parramatta's Nathan Cayless took over the captaincy while the Kiwis were expected to promote experienced Melbourne back rower Stephen Kearney to the starting side and add another Storm player, David Kidwell, to the bench.

Bailey warned NZ could lift in the absence of the aggressive Wiki.

"They'll lose some but, maybe with him being in the side they were looking for a bit of inspiration from him, but if he's out they're going to find inspiration from themselves," Bailey said.

"I think they'll be better without him."

The Kiwis trained at their base on the NSW Central Coast, but they couldn't avoid another day of drama in NZ rugby league.

After the Warriors' shock decision to release star forward Ali Lauitiiti, the issue swirled around the Kiwi camp.

Coach Daniel Anderson, who is also in charge at the Warriors, ended an interview when asked his opinion on the Lauitiiti issue.

Anderson simply answered "thanks boys" before walking away to join his team on the training paddock.

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