League: Kemble's at a loss over big defeat

By Peter Jessup

Neither Kiwis coach Gary Kemble nor captain Roy Asotasi could tell why the side performed so miserably at Hull yesterday.

"We don't know why, we just didn't turn up," Kemble said, admitting he knew his job was on the line, that he was feeling that pressure and that reviewing his own performance would have to be part of analysing the thrashing.

There was no cohesion, no attack, he agreed. "No, and we'd worked on that all week so that was very disappointing."

Changes had to be made in selection and the halves would be one area. "You look at your halves to direct the game," the coach said. Leuluai's injury would be assessed during the week but he had to keep looking for the right combination there.

Teenagers Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Chase Stanley would be considered in the backs as would prop Jeff Lima. They had all been training well. "We have to look at form: we have some players who haven't stood up."

Kemble said he was disappointed they conceded two soft tries early on, after speaking about the need to start hard and fast. Down 16-0 at halftime they still had some chance and he spoke about creating pressure and getting a good kick-chase going. "We didn't do that."

The coaching staff had to review all they had done during the week, he said. "We thought we did everything right, the trainings looked good."

Captain Asotasi and fullback Sam Perrett were the only two to come out of the game with credit but his answer to the question 'why?': "I dunno, it's pretty disappointing. There's no doubt the effort and desire is there. We spoke about a fast start and obviously that didn't happen. We had a couple of bad decisions go against us and Great Britain capitalised on our errors."

Asotasi, in his third test as skipper, agreed the team would benefit from wider leadership. "We've got a lot of young guys who are still finding their way."

And the squad is still finding its way with Kemble, his approach is a big change from that of Brian McClennan. "It's very different," Asotasi said of Kemble's coaching, "the boys are still trying to gel."

He said they had to stay positive and attack the third test.

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