x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Kearney still wants more from the Kiwis

The New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney felt his side's convincing win over PNG marked an important step in their campaign.

The New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney felt his side's convincing win over Papua New Guinea on Saturday marked an important step in their campaign. The Kiwis bounced back from their opening defeat by Australia to brush aside the Kumuls 48-6. Yet despite the convincing nature of the nine-tries-to-one victory, Kearney claimed he was not completely satisfied. The former Hull and Melbourne forward, whose side face England next, said: "Like last week, there are areas we need to get better in.

"I'll look at the tape and see where we can improve. "What really pleased me was the defensive performance. "I watched Papua New Guinea play England last week and I thought they really troubled the English with the way they played. "So it was going to take a good performance to keep them out. They only got over our try-line once, which again is an indication of us defending well. We gave them a few chances by turning the ball over and [there were] a couple of decisions."

Kearney was frustrated by the referee, England's Steve Ganson, and made his feelings clear about rule interpretations. He said: "Without being too critical, the interpretation of a few rules might have been a little different, but we didn't want to make that an excuse for us." * PA Sport