Aussie league great Andrew Johns has launched a scathing attack on Shaun Johnson and the Kiwis.
Johns says the Kiwis have only themselves to blame, letting rip at the world's No1-ranked league side in the world for their "awful attitude" after minnows Scotland almost turned giant killers in a thrilling 18-18 draw.
The great halfback also had a blunt appraisal of New Zealand No7 Shaun Johnson: he isn't one.
Johns was withering in his assessment of New Zealand's display against the Bravehearts after they were lucky to escape with a single point.
"Their attitude just stunk," he said of New Zealand in the Nine Network 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 [in Workington] 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."
Johns added Johnson was 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 was adamant about Johnson's best position.
"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 has 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."