Kangaroos test great Matthew Johns has thrown New Zealand's entire coaching system under the bus for the inexcusable blunder of forgetting about superstar Jason Taumalolo.

The Cowboys wrecking ball was held back on the bench for the first 26 minutes of the second half of Australia's 26-6 win over New Zealand in Perth on Saturday.

Rookie mentor David Kidwell has repeatedly accepted blame for the blunder by claiming he simply forgot about the man awarded the best player in the NRL alongside Cooper Cronk at the 2016 Dally M Awards.

Matthew Johns said the decision not to bring Taumalolo back into the game until the 64th minute was bewildering. Photo / Getty Images
Matthew Johns said the decision not to bring Taumalolo back into the game until the 64th minute was bewildering. Photo / Getty Images

Johns said the decision not to bring Taumalolo back into the game until the 64th minute was bewildering but believes it is totally unfair for Kidwell to take all the blame.

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"Luckily they got their interchange wrong as well," Johns told Triple M's The Grill Team.

"They had Taumalolo on the bench for most of the second half and you're going, 'What? What?'.

"That's where you go to your assistant coaches. That's their job.

"The really top coaches like Craig Bellamy, he has a person in the background and all he's working on, he's got a whiteboard, and all he's working on is tracking the players and the interchange to see who's getting tired and how long guys are off for.

"It's almost a mathematical equation. So Kidwell and his assistants were obviously sitting there watching the game. Then suddenly they've gone, 'Oh hang on'."

Kangaroos Test legend Mark Geyer said Australia's smaller forwards dominated their New Zealand opposites while Taumalolo was nowhere to be seen.

"The best player in the comp, the best forward in the comp and you've got him sitting on the bench getting splinters in his a***," Geyer said.

Jason Taumalolo in action for the Kiwis. Photo / photosport.co.nz
Jason Taumalolo in action for the Kiwis. Photo / photosport.co.nz

"When we spoke about this before the game we said it's the biggest, meanest pack the Kiwis had ever had, but they were dominated by the likes of (Trent) Merrin with footwork."

Kidwell reiterated that the blunder was his fault when speaking with Tony Veitch on Newstalk ZB.

"The rotation for me was a big learning curve and I didn't intend on that happening like that," Kidwell said.

"We'll sit down as a coaching staff and have a look at that and, obviously, one of those points is making sure that JT (Taumalolo) is playing a bit more time and make sure that that doesn't happen again.

"I'll take full responsibility for that but I've got to learn from that and moving forward making sure that that doesn't happen again."

"Just some basic fundamental errors that people don't usually make.

"I'm only three weeks into the job and very disappointed in the result, yes.

"But the way we prepared, the culture that we're trying to instil in these guys, I couldn't be happier that way.

"Yes we have to fix some stuff at training and we've addressed that as a team and as a senior leadership group.

"I've got to look at some stuff as a new coach myself and make sure that we move forward and get it right for what is going to be the opening test of the Four Nations against England."