Sloppy Kiwis warned to improve

Despite New Zealand powering to a 38-8 victory on Saturday night, Kiwis coach David Kidwell said his side's poor ball control against Samoa simply wasn't good enough.

The Kiwis threw caution-to-the-wind for much of their opening game at the Rugby League World Cup, resulting in them making 17 errors and completing just 62 per cent of their 42 uses with the ball.

While giving all of his players a "pass mark", Kidwell conceded there was plenty of work to do ahead of Saturday night's clash against Scotland in Christchurch.

"We have got some [improving] to do, and the guys have recognised that," Kidwell said.

"17 errors for the game, we are at the start of the tournament and that's definitely something we need to work on.

"Completing at 62 per cent, as we get through the tournament and play better quality teams we need to make sure that we are a lot better in that area.


"We have got to be smarter in some of our passes and decisions."

While the free-flowing style, which saw New Zealand offload 16 times and make five line breaks, delivered plenty of negatives, it also saw the tournament co-hosts score some classy tries on route to their fourth Test victory in as many attempts against Samoa.

First-half efforts to Jordan Rapana and Shaun Johnson both came after a clever interchange of passing up near halfway, while in the second half, Kodi Nikorima's willingness to run the ball saw him set up Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's 68th minute try.

The Kiwis appeared to become more comfortable with the style as the game went on, displaying better decision-making around offloads, with assistant coach Brian Smith insisting the new style wasn't an excuse for such a high error rate.

"No [we won't accept that], we are greedy. We want the boys to play with a lot of precision," Smith said.

"Given that we have been together for two weeks, got five debutants, it's game one, we didn't play a warm up game, we probably could have expected maybe 10 or 12 errors tonight.

"That would have been my expectation. We exceeded that by a little, but some of that is down to Samoa and their strong hitting and all that sort of stuff.

"We need to learn our lesson."