Those far less experienced sides had good motivators. Kidwell in the last couple of years had better teams but he still looked ordinary. If we swapped coaches with Aus .. Meninga would of picked the coke boys and Taumalolo would of stayed with the kiwis knowing he would be used properly. As for the Aussie players, they would probably ignore Kidwell and make their own game plan..I hope you are right Welly, because if you are about Kidwell being the weakness that is no problem, he is only putting out the cones and making press releases. I have a lot of faith in Brian Smith, if I were Taumalolo or any of the other Tongan rebels I would hope Smith does not stay involved with the Kiwis. I have seen far less experienced Kiwi sides deal to the Australians, and this could be an interesting series, especially against Tonga.
If defence is the focus then you go with leuleuai. I'm trying to figure out who's the best fit with this so called new kiwis style of footy. I think their gonna go back to offloads at will and off the cuff play. Martin is good in broken play. So is nikorima. But leuleuai has the best structure and passing game and defence
I think Nikorima gets the spot because he's used to playing with a non-organising half when he partners Anthony Milford, which is a similar style to Shaun Johnson. Whereas Morgan calls every single play and controls the kicking options at the cowboys while TMM hangs back until the opportunity is there, so I don't think he would mesh well with Shaun Johnson. Plus even if Nikorima is a below average defender, TMM is an absolute turnstile in defence and got exposed badly in the GF.
Agree that Smith will be our first choice hooker in the coming years.Brandon smith - showed in the nrl games he played he is gonna be better than Levi already.
I think gavet is still injured?This is my team based on what they've done in the kiwis jersey
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - solid nothing amazing but has never played for Samoa had been committed to nz since the start.
Nightingale - deserves a medal for years of service without complaint or drawing negative media attention. Has his limitations but can handle the pressure and is solid when he has a good centre pairing he can trust.
Whare - has been great and has done some amazing individual plays to help the kiwis.
Hiku- he was massive in 2014. He dominated Dugan in 2015. Isn't a half we know that but when put in the right spot he has never failed us.
Rapana- come into the kiwis during a bad culture and change with kidwell. Always giving his all and doing his best.
Nikorima- despite his brother choosing Aussie he has always stayed solid with the kiwis. A limited player but is the best we got and wants to play.
Johnson- Shaun has been magic when having the right group around him. World Cup semi and 2014 four nations come to mind.
Packer - publicly stated he wanted to be selected and was a goal to be back in the kiwis. Has the passion.
Leuleuai. Best at hooker. Paid his dues and has been a servant. Won't let the team down.
Taupau - we know how much he respects the jersey. Is a winner and example of how to play in the kiwis jersey.
Blair - captain. Done a lot over the years. Has something to prove.
Tapine - toured last year. Done well in his role. Young but will be supported.
Mannering- what can we say about manners. Should've remained captain to be fair. He did a great job after the benji era. Kidwell had no idea what he was doing and thought bromich was ready for captain. Biggest mistake. Brings toughness and will go the extra mile.
Levi - yet to see how much he will bleed for the jersey but deserves a crack off the bench.
Asofa solomona.- if he can bring as much passion as he does off the bench for the storm. We won't be having any issues if he just does his role.
Taylor - has the passion. Not the greatest player but will give his all out their for the team.
Fonua Blake - a great talent. A toss up between him and Liu. Maybe they both need a shot to see who deserves a bench. Spot.
Jwh- crap in the kiwis. Overrated. Never bled or sacrificed for the team.
Martin- abit young. Nikorima proven more at this stage in their kiwis career.
Liu- an unknown. Played for Samoa so I'm not sure if he cares. Could be another Manu mau.
Watene zelezniak - great talent but hasn't delivered the goods yet in a kiwis jersey.
Takairangi- good player. Abit unreliable at times for parra but has the measurable s to cause trouble. Long and athletic. I remembered he pulled out one Anzac test which I want happy with.
Kenny brom- just not an international quality player. Has done nothing in a kiwis jersey. Really thought Lewis brown has done more and deserves his spot.
Beale - a dud player. The longest serving kiwis player who I have no idea how they have been selected so often.
Harawira naera- the miss of the team. Has the attacking goods to do damage with Shaun Johnson. Don't know how he missed out.
Lewis brown - better than kenny bromich. Simple as that.
Gavet - not sure of his passion for the kiwis but could be the best impact needed.
Brandon smith - showed in the nrl games he played he is gonna be better than Levi already.
Joseph Manu - better than Beale.
They are amateurs because the NZRL are broke and cannot afford to pay professionals. I don't know how they are paying Brian Smith but thankfully he is on board. Like Trugoy says he can be a polarising dude but he has the smarts to do the job.https://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/opinion...answers-over-jason-taumalolos-shock-defection
NZRL is such a joke when they have such amateurs in charge of the national team.
Feels like reliving the Warriors season from hell just with a different jersey.
Can I take a guess ? Bill SorensonThey are amateurs because the NZRL are broke and cannot afford to pay professionals. I don't know how they are paying Brian Smith but thankfully he is on board. Like Trugoy says he can be a polarising dude but he has the smarts to do the job.
Also, joke they may be, but the more I read about the Tongan revolt it bodes poorly for Tongan players in future. The Warriors have been well and truly experienced in their ways, and now the Kiwis have copped it where it hurts. Taumalolo had his right to choose allegiances, but holding off until the last moment is the crowning glory IMO.
I have asked Mount Wellington this question and never been answered. Who was the first Tongan born player to be selected for the Kiwis? Maybe he doesn't know, but I do, and he was no different to this current mob. They are all big, athletic, fast and talented, but their attitude can suck big time, especially when it counts. The Warriors must have had more Tongans than any other team in the NRL and it sure has showed.
The team I would like to see:
Reserves: Jason Nightingale, Gerard Beale, Peta Hiku, Te Maire Martin, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Kenny Bromwich, Elijah Taylor
- Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
- Dallin Watene Zelezniak
- Dean Whare
- Brad Takairangi
- Jordan Rapana
- Kodi Nikorima
- Shaun Johnson
- Adam Blair
- Thomas Leuluai
- Martin Taupau
- Simon Mannering
- Joseph Tapine
- Isaac Liu
- Danny Levi
- Russell Packer
- Addin Fonua-Blake
- Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Had the same team bruv.
Liu has to be in there due to his form , has a knack of breaking the line every now and then.
Same bench as well.