There must be a surplus of sighs of relief when the Kiwis were the beneficiaries of an Australian defeat of the Brits in Four Nations play, as they are going into the finals of their third tournament after the 36 – 18 win by the Aussies in London.
They had found themselves in the rare position of potentially failing to advance after drawing 18 – 18 with Scotland. Even Australian coach Mal Meninga had to admit that the Kiwis were lucky.
There will likely be some discussion, objected, subjective, calm and heated about the pairing for the final, but a New Zealand narrow win by the score of 17 – 16 over England was considered a pivotal result both before and after the fact.
England’s Lions could not maintain pace with the Kangaroos in the second half, where the Aussies showed their typical form of lifting in the second half. The Kiwis, on the other hand, did not do so well in Coventry in a previous meeting with Australia, even though they came close to securing a draw near the end.
The Kiwis need to do a bit of self-examination and regrouping after the recent draw with Scotland, put that behind them, and turn their focus to an Australian side that offers a formidable challenge.