Former Kiwis manager and Warriors coach Tony Kemp has criticised the Kiwis selectors for exuding Issac Luke and Benji Marshall from last night's 16-0 defeat to the Kangaroos.
Speaking this morning on Radio Sport's Hash Brown breakfast with Matt Brown, Kemp believed that the Kiwis were lacking the offensive spark required.
"The effort from the Kiwis was definitely there, but the execution wasn't. To be held to nil, it won't be too happy a camp. We just didn't have enough players that with the ball in their hands offensively could trouble the Australians," said Kemp.
Kiwi regulars Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino and Bodene Thompson were all overlooked for the annual mid-year Test after being stood down by the Warriors, while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Simon Mannering, Peta Hiku, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Tuimoala Lolohea, Dean Whare, and Jared Warea-Hargreaves made for a fearsome injury list.
While noting the many unavailable, Kemp argues the selectors erred by not selecting players out of position.
"For me it is a selection issue - they need to pick specialists. If they learnt anything last night - and I hope they have - pick specialist players in specialist positions, especially if we've got them now in Issac Luke and Benji Marshall," said Kemp.
"The selection panel needs to have a process where they're selecting players which will actually go out there and do a job, because last night putting back rowers in the hooker position and a back rower at centre - it was just a mismatch and the Aussies capitalised on it."
Kemp singled out Luke and Marshall as two players who could have made a difference.
"I think someone needs to look at how the selections are actually happening because for me, if Issac Luke was there and even Benji Marshall we've got a shot.
"It wasn't too long ago we were saying we had no depth in the hookers and halves and now here we go leaving two great players out."
Luke's omission was Kemp's biggest grievance, believing he should have been in the squad ahead of Kenny Bromwich.
"He's gone from captaining his country in the Four Nations to yes, he's not playing that great for the Warriors, but he can do a job at hooker, and he would have done a better job than those guys they were putting out there last night."
Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney said he had no regrets over leaving Luke out of the side.
"Some people might say yes but if I look at the big picture...the energy those boys (Lewis Brown and Bromwich) showed [on Friday night] and through the course of the week was wonderful," said Kearney. "I don't think they let us down and I wouldn't change it if I had my time over again."
Kearney also confirmed that Luke was available for selection, after the player had expressed self doubt over his current form.
"He was definitely available, despite what he said the week before," said Kearney. "He is a Kiwi, always will be, he's part of the family. He will be hungry to be back in the Kiwis jumper and that is a positive for everyone."