Endacott's Kiwis seize the moment

The game in New Zealand senses a rare moment of opportunity as the Kiwis prepare to battle for their world crown, immediately after the failure of the All Blacks in union's Rugby World Cup.

The game in New Zealand senses a rare moment of opportunity as the Kiwis prepare to battle for their world crown, immediately after the failure of the All Blacks in union's Rugby World Cup.

With the nation still in a state of shock over events at Twickenham, the rugby league side that is used to living in the All Blacks' shadow can earn a new level of acclaim by giving the public here a winning team - and a winning team over Australia at that.

"I don't want to put pressure on our guys and I won't be drumming it up that much, but the fact is that this has become a very, very important match for us," said the Kiwi coach, Frank Endacott, about the Tri-Series final in Auckland this Friday.

"What has happened to the All Blacks has made it a two-fold thing for us if we can win, so it has become the most important game for the Kiwis for 20 years. "It would give us such a boost, because everything in New Zealand has traditionally revolved around the All Blacks."

The Kiwis have been on the verge before of breaking through to a gain higher sporting profile in New Zealand, notably in the 1980s when they beat Australia under Graham Lowe and reached the World Cup final, only to lose to the Kangaroos.

They have already beaten Australia once in this series and, although they have not beaten them in back-to-back Tests for more than 50 years, the rewards for doing so this time are great. Endacott has been playing down the status of the game as a world title decider, but if the Kiwis can win most people in New Zealand and Australia would regard them as the champion side in the game, at least until next year's World Cup.

Neither side reports any major injury problems going into the showdown at Ericsson Stadium. The Australian prop, Rodney Howe, has passed a fitness test on his knee before travelling with the squad to Auckland, while the goal-kicking winger, Mat Rogers, delayed his departure because he is about to become a father.

The New Zealand Maori team which is due to face a chastened Great Britain side in the curtain-raiser is having even more problems than its opposition in raising a convincing line-up.

Their coach, Cameron Bell, once in charge at Carlisle, said that they were only told they were required to play last Saturday; gathering a team together has been difficult since some players had been unable to break away from pre-season with their Australian clubs. "It has caused a bit of a panic and it could be that only three of the 17 will have played for me before," he said.

The New Zealand forward David Lomax, who played for Newcastle Knights this year, has agreed to join the newly merged Huddersfield and Sheffield Super League club. John Kear, the coach, will secure the signature of the 29-year-old back-row man before he leaves Auckland this week.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...

Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solicitor

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?