Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has taken aim at the Kiwis for keeping a low profile and accused them of failing in their obligations to promote tomorrow's Anzac test in Canberra.
Writing in his column for the Daily Telegraph titled 'Where the bloody hell are you?', Meninga slammed the Kiwis for remaining in Sydney for the early part of the week before arriving in Canberra yesterday afternoon.
Throughout the build-up over the past fortnight, Meninga and his Australian players have been readily accessible to media on both sides of the ditch while the Kiwis have been reluctant to put themselves out there.
"Every day this week the Australian players have been out doing their bit to promote the game and international footy," wrote Meninga.
"The New Zealand players have been nowhere to be seen.
"While we are promoting the code in Canberra, a city that last week hosted an AFL match and is home to rugby union's Brumbies, the Kiwis have been in Sydney - under instruction from the New Zealand Rugby League - bunkering down and expecting us to do the work for the good of the game.
"The NZRL should remember they have a responsibility to the growth of the game, not just their own priorities.
"There is an onus on both teams to promote the match and the code, and to help re-energise the international game - especially in a World Cup year.
"We are doing our bit. So where are the Kiwis?"
Speaking to the Herald last week, Meninga expressed concern that his Kiwis coaching rival David Kidwell had been conspicuous by his absence in the test lead-up.
Requests to the NZRL for one-on-one interviews with Kidwell were repeatedly denied while Meninga made himself available to talk after responding to a simple text message
"The only thing I can think of is they're bunkering down and they want to get this right," said Meninga.
"They want to make sure that they get their preparation right and obviously their objective is to win this game so they've bunkered down. They don't want to talk to anybody, they're ostracising themselves from everybody else for their own purposes to win the footy game.
"The result is what we all get judge on I suppose.
"It's a bit strange they're not helping us promote the game but they've got their own reasons and hopefully in the next few days they state those reasons.
"But they're obviously bunkering down and getting themselves in a good space where they're going to challenge for that number one spot again."
Kidwell was initially unwilling to speak to media after the Kiwis squad was announced on Sunday night before the NZRL changed tack and made him available via a telephone conference.
Throughout the week, media access has been limited to one press opportunity each day with one or two players made available for brief interviews, but the majority of their star players have been kept out of the spotlight.
Kidwell will make just his second public appearance of the week alongside captain Jesse Bromwich at today's official press conference following the Kiwis captain's run.
With both teams having only five days in camp, Meninga understood the need to focus on preparing to play but said a balance needed to be found in meeting off-field obligations.
"We're out there trying to do our bit and we understand that.
"The Kangaroos is a pretty strong brand as is the Kiwis. But we'll do everything we possibly can to make sure we've got a sell-out crowd and the game is a great spectacle.
"We'll make sure or prep is right but also we'll make sure we promote it well as well."