Fiji Time: 9:37 PM on Wednesday 22 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Kiwis embrace underdogs tag

Aap
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SYDNEY - Kiwi excitement machine Shaun Johnson says New Zealand's so-called "team of nobodies" are plotting to spring one of the great trans-Tasman boilovers in Friday night's rugby league Test against Australia.

Johnson, who carved up England to score the try of the World Cup last November, says belief can overcome the Kiwis' inexperience and criticism of Stephen Kearney's rank underdogs has galvanised them in their improbable bid to topple the all-conquering Kangaroos.

Australia, with an average age of 28, boasts a total of 296 Tests in experience — more than double the 137 caps for New Zealand's raw squad (average age 24) which contains six uncapped players.

"Look, we don't care who we're playing. We're just so pumped to be in the position we're in. Especially being an Anzac Test match, that makes it even more special," Johnson told AAP.

Criticism of the Kiwis squad has focused on the non-selection of the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves while play-making star Kieran Foran heads a long injured list.

"It doesn't matter if we haven't got the biggest names," said Johnson.

"Being in camp with all the brothers is always a privilege and a massive honour to have a chance to represent your country.

"So we're not really listening to what outside people are saying. We believe in the talent that we've got in our camp."





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Budget overspent
  2. $20m in excess
  3. $11.9m in arrears
  4. Finance scrutiny
  5. Military overspends
  6. No spending ledger maintained
  7. Woman dies, defacto partner in custody
  8. Poor control of permit database
  9. Financial boost for hospital's oncology unit
  10. Anomalies in books

Top Stories this Week

  1. False rumours warning Friday (17 Oct)
  2. Death shocks family Monday (20 Oct)
  3. Biman gets nod Saturday (18 Oct)
  4. Law and order Thursday (16 Oct)
  5. Detailed report Friday (17 Oct)
  6. Inside Fiji sevens Tuesday (21 Oct)
  7. Public access Tuesday (21 Oct)
  8. Praises for Fiji sevens team after win in Australia Thursday (16 Oct)
  9. 8-room home gutted Friday (17 Oct)
  10. Budget overspent Wednesday (22 Oct)