NRL 8 months ago

Kiwis to learn fate of injured backs

  • Kiwis to learn fate of injured backs

    WHANGAREI, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 01: Assistant coach David Kidwell of New Zealand gives instructions to the team prior to the Four Nations match between the New Zealand Kiwis and Samoa at Toll Stadium on November 1, 2014 in Whangarei, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Kiwis coach David Kidwell hopes injury clouds hovering over Thomas Leuluai and Jason Nightingale can clear before their second Four Nations Test against Australia.

Leuluai was diagnosed with concussion during New Zealand's 17-16 win over England, although the five-eighth believed he was wrongly diagnosed.

St George Illawarra winger Nightingale suffered an ankle problem and he and Leuluai should learn the extent of their injuries on Monday.

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Kidwell said props Jesse Bromwich and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves emerged unscathed after taking leg niggles into the Test.

The coach was surprised there weren't more injuries following a ferocious clash of two muscular packs.

"The guys coming off the field said they'd never experienced anything like that in the NRL, especially the forwards," he said.

"To get the monkey off the back is a good feeling but now it's all about the recovery. We've got a big game on Saturday."

Kidwell's monkey was the 26-6 Test loss to Australia in Perth two weeks earlier.

Following his first Test in charge, he admitted to making fundamental mistakes, including his use of the interchange bench which resulted in key forward Jason Taumalolo spending an extended period on the sideline.

"We all learned some harsh lessons there and it was about making improvements," he said.

"We sat down and nutted that (interchange strategy) out and that became a crucial part against England."

Kidwell says time together explained their improvement from the Perth Test and he expects his team to be better again for the rematch against a Kangaroos side which crushed Scotland 54-12 in the tournament opener .

Kidwell suggested there will be minimal change for Saturday's clash in Coventry but is keen to give other squad members game time against Scotland in Workington a week later.

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