Andrew Johns lets rip at Shaun Johnson, Kiwis, for 'awful attitude' against Scotland

Former rugby league great Andrew Johns has launched a scathing attack on Shaun Johnson and the Kiwis after their draw with Scotland in the Four Nations. Photo / Photosport
Former rugby league great Andrew Johns has launched a scathing attack on Shaun Johnson and the Kiwis after their draw with Scotland in the Four Nations. Photo / Photosport

It was Scotland's day in the sun, and the stuff of New Zealand's nightmares.

Eighth Immortal Andrew Johns says the Kiwis have only themselves to blame, letting rip at the No. 1 ranked side in the world for their "awful attitude" after minnows Scotland almost turned giant killers in a thrilling 18-all draw.

The greatest halfback the game has ever seen also had a blunt appraisal of New Zealand No. 7 Shaun Johnson: he isn't one.

As the Kiwis fate now rests in the hands of rivals England and Australia on Monday, rookie coach David Kidwell should be about as happy as a hippo with a hernia in the wash-up of the latest Four Nations encounter.

Johns was withering in his assessment of New Zealand's display against the Bravehearts after they were lucky to escape with a single point.

Scotland were the better side for much of the contest, and despite two late tries to Gerard Beale that looked to have finished them off, they fought back to secure a thoroughly deserved and historic draw.

Should England manage to pull off an upset of their own against the Kangaroos it will send the Kiwis tumbling out of the tournament, a just desserts results according to Johns.

"Their attitude just stunk," Johns said of New Zealand in commentary.

"I think their attitude was awful. They just thought they'd turn up and win the game. And well done to Scotland they played really well and they played with a lot of spirit.

"But you look at the line-ups and compare the teams and the talent of the teams: if New Zealand had their heads on they would've won by 40 points.

"I know conditions were tough but their attitude stunk ... It's attitude for the Kiwis, they need a huge attitude readjustment if they get through (to the final).

"I can't see them getting within 20 points of the Australians."

Johnson's Not a No. 7

There's simply no better judge of a half than the best of all time, and Johns frankly sees Kiwi and Warriors star Johnson being played out of position.

As has been the case all tournament, and for much of his career, it was rocks and diamonds in equal measures from Johnson against the Scots.

His man-of-the-match award was questioned by fellow playmaking legend Peter Sterling, and after a listless first half Johns had this to offer.

"I was talking to a couple of really good judges the last couple of weeks and they all say Shaun Johnson's a five-eighth, not a halfback," Johns said.

"He doesn't manage the game well enough and it doesn't suit his game and I think I've got to agree with them.

"If he plays five eighth it lets him rove around and play with that freedom. I just don't think the game management for Shaun suits his style of play.

"Shaun's kicking game, all series it's been really poor.

"I watched (the) last game against the Australians. A few times he ran the ball on the last, kicked it into the grandstand. His game management has been really poor and that needs to improve."

Kidwell's Kicker

Thomas Leuluai is out of the Four Nations with a broken jaw.

Thing is though, Kidwell now can't move Johnson even if he wanted to. His halves stocks are shot.

Thomas Leuluai's international career is almost certainly over, ended by a broken jaw sustained in the 57th minute.

That leaves just rookie Te Maire Martin as the only other out and out half in the Kiwi squad, while Tohu Harris has been tossed into the No. 6 black and white jumper previously.

Neither option allows for Johnson to be shifted.

Elsewhere there's food for thought, but it's not all that appetising. Rookie winger David Fusitu'a finished with two tries and proved a handful.

But he also took a couple of coach killing options that beggared belief, like a kick return down the short side in greasy conditions, just asking for him to be bundled into touch, which he duly was.

New forwards Joseph Tapine and James Fisher-Harris both added punch from the bench, but both conceded foolish penalties by going overboard on the aggro.

It's hard to argue for too many changes based on the newcomers' performances. Yet the efforts, or lack thereof, from New Zealand's senior men make a compelling case for a shake up.

And one hell of a headache for Kidwell and the No. 1 ranked side in the world, playing like they're anything but at the moment.

- Daily Telegraph Australia

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