The Rugby League World Cup is over for the Kiwis, but no one should be surprised at the shock result to Fiji.
It’s baffling to see how Adam Blair, the captain of the Kiwis, can stand in front of a nation and say that the result isn’t a negative for the side. Because the result is beyond negative, it’s near disgraceful. For as good as Fiji were to hold onto the slim 4-2 win, the amount of basic mistakes the Kiwis made was a sign of a team not in sync as a unit. Furthermore, it was a sign of the chickens finally coming home to roost for league in this country.
Moments after those comments by the captain, Kiwi coach David Kidwell took aim at the New Zealand public, saying that he’d only accept criticism from supporters who bothered to show up to games. Then it was the captains turn again, this time Blair saying that the side deserved more credit than what was being given in the aftermath of the shock result.
All in all, the World Cup campaign which had started out so promisingly fell of a cliff and exploded at the bottom.
Kiwis World Cup Explosion A Long Time In Coming
The reason why this happened to the Kiwis starts with New Zealand Rugby League in general. For all the problems the Warriors have had in recent years, the Kiwis began to show similar cracks in their culture earlier this year when two senior players were busted for cocaine use in the hours after a Test against Australia. From there, the knives were out, and both players were axed from the World Cup.
Can you blame the New Zealand public for not having a lot of faith in this side? Culture issues aside, just look at the results in recent times. Mediocre at best, and that might be giving too much credit. Outside of the Kiwis, the Warriors have been less than inconsistent and have themselves had some major culture issues, many of which have driven some of the long-term leaders at the club away.
And for Adam Blair, the so-called captain of this side, here is a man who clearly preferred to keep his true feelings toward the situation well-hidden. PR training or not, comments such as the ones made last night show a true disconnect with the reality of what was, and forever will be, one of the darkest days in Kiwis league history.
That’s what it will be remembered for.