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Kiwis to keep emotions in check at RLWC

Admitting they lost control of their emotions against England, the Kiwis have vowed not to make the same mistake in Saturday's Rugby League World Cup final.
Kiwis to keep emotions in check at RLWC
by AAP

By Liam FitzGibbon

MANCHESTER, England, Nov 26 AAP - Admitting they lost control of their emotions against England, the Kiwis have vowed not to make the same mistake in Saturday's Rugby League World Cup final.

The reigning champions have finally come down from the high of a dramatic semi-final win at Wembley as they prepare to defend their title against Australia at Old Trafford.

New Zealand needed a last-minute try by halfback Shaun Johnson to escape with a 20-18 victory in front of more than 67,000 fans on Saturday.

And assistant coach Ivan Cleary revealed the tight-knit playing group had spoken about letting the occasion get the better of them, resulting in silly errors and penalties.

"The players came up the observation themselves ... we were probably a little bit emotional on the weekend," Cleary said on Tuesday.

"There's nothing wrong with being emotional but I think our emotions probably got the better of us.

"That leads to errors, which we've got to minimise.

"It's going to be a great occasion again but we've just got to keep that in check and make sure we're not giving the Australians any sort of leg-up."

While the Kiwis were pushed to the brink by England at Wembley, the Kangaroos sailed through to the decider with a 64-0 shellacking of Fiji.

Cleary believes the tougher hit-out will hold his side in good stead, though he admitted his side were left battered and bruised by the World Cup classic.

Wingers Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (leg) and Manu Vatuvei (groin) and backrower Frank Pritchard (hamstring) all failed to train with the Kiwis squad at Leigh on Tuesday.

However Cleary was optimistic they would be fit to play.

"Probably Frank Pritchard is behind the others but at this stage we're hopeful," Cleary said.

The Kiwis suffered another scare when Jared Waerea-Hargreaves went down with a knock in front of a healthy contingent of fans at Tuesday's training session.

"Jared likes an audience and he got one today. He should be right," Cleary said.

Meanwhile, Englishman Richard Silverwood has been appointed referee for the final, Ashley Klein named as video referee and New Zealander Henry Perenara as his assistant.




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