NZ’s Kearney confident of beating England

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NZ’s Kearney confident of beating England

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney is confident a “couple of subtle adjustments” can help his side square the series with England in Saturday’s second Test at London’s Olympic Stadium.

The Kiwis face a must-win fixture after letting slip a 10-0 lead to go down 26-12 in the opening game in Hull last Sunday.

Kearney has kept faith with the same team but has tinkered with his bench, bringing in experienced duo Lewis Brown and Alex Glenn in place of debutants Kodi Nikorima and Sio Siua Taukeiaho.

“There are a few areas in defence we thought we needed to be a lot better at,” Kearney said at the team’s final training run at the stadium.

“It’s just a few little adjustments for us that we’ve worked on this week. I didn’t think we were too far wrong. You saw what we could do in the first 30 minutes last week, it’s having the attitude to be able to sustain that for 80 minutes.

“So for us there’s been a couple of subtle adjustments.”

A win in London would set up a series decider at Wigan on Saturday week and New Zealand co-captain Adam Blair insists his side are fully focused on the task.

“It’s do or die for us,” he said. “We’ve got to go out there and do our best, work hard together to try and get this win.”

The Kiwis have spent the week in London and on Friday got their first look at the Olympic Stadium, which is set to draw a near-capacity crowd for its first rugby league fixture.

“It’s wonderful,” Blair said. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere and all the boys are pumped, just walking out here. Their eyes are up looking around.

“To be able to get the opportunity to play at such an iconic stadium is going to be great.”

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