League: Shaun Johnson rallies behind Kiwis coach David Kidwell

Shaun Johnson in action for the Kiwis. Photo / Getty Images.
Shaun Johnson in action for the Kiwis. Photo / Getty Images.

New Zealand halfback Shaun Johnson has bristled at suggestions Kiwis coach David Kidwell is under the pump following their 30-12 Test loss to Australia.

The Kiwis have won just one from six since Kidwell took over from Stephen Kearney last year and Friday's result was a blow to their confidence heading into the World Cup at the end of the year.

Despite the return of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Kieran Foran and Simon Mannering and the Kangaroos missing Greg Inglis, Matt Scott and losing Josh Dugan in the second half, the Kiwis were never in the contest.

Johnson was adamant it was not an ominous portent for the World Cup, to be played in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and knocked back suggestions Kidwell was feeling the heat.

"Of course," Johnson said when asked if he still supported the coach.

"I haven't seen the game but I know we were out there having a crack tonight.

"We maybe overplayed our hands at times. We had a few errors there but we'll be better for it. We'll stay tight."

Johnson put his hand up following the five-tries-to-two defeat at GIO Stadium, taking ownership for a number of poor kicks in the first half which ran dead and released the pressure on the Kangaroos.

He said they wouldn't be changing anything ahead of the World Cup and there wasn't that much wrong with the performance.

"Adjustments, I'm not sure about adjustments," Johnson said.

"That second half, if we build off that style of footy, I genuinely believe we're going to be OK.

"It starts with your halves, controlling that and guiding that.

"But we don't need to do anything dramatic. There were some things we didn't like about tonight and some things we did."

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