Kiwis skipper confident of upsetting Kangaroos
RUGBY LEAGUE: Jesse Bromwich has a simple message for New Zealand fans looking for hope.
Ahead of the Four Nations final against the Kangaroos on Monday (12.30am AEST), the Kiwis captain is confident his team can pull off a major upset.
The New Zealand side appears to have a near-impossible task at Anfield, given the respective form of the two teams, but Bromwich believes the Kiwis are capable of clinching their third major title this decade.
"I think we can,” Bromwich told the New Zealand Herald. "There is no way I am going to say we can't do this. I have full confidence in our boys ... we are all here representing our country, our families, and I am sure we can put it out there this weekend.”
Bromwich is aware that many pundits, on both sides of the Tasman, have written the Kiwis off. They have lost all three matches against Kangaroos this year, including heavy defeats in Newcastle and Perth. And the Australian side has got better as this tournament has progressed, whereas the Kiwis have been patchy throughout.
"Experts have done that in the past and the Kiwis have been victorious,” Bromwich said.
"There is no doubt we can play a good match ... no doubt at all.”
The 27-year-old, who missed training on Thursday but is expected to play on Monday, also confronted the attitude questions that have dogged the team since their surprise 18-18 draw with Scotland.
"It's very tough,” Bromwich said. "It's hard not to say there was an attitude problem because it kind of looks that way (from the outside) when you put things into perspective.
"(But) I don't think we'll have an attitude problem this week. We are playing at Liverpool's home ground, it will be a massive crowd, and the final of the Four Nations ... we will be up for this.”
As a skipper, Bromwich has come a long way in six months, after being appointed for the Anzac Test in May.
"I've grown into it a little more,” Bromwich said. "At the start I didn't see myself being captain. But I'm enjoying it more.”
It's not ideal to have a prop as captain - given their unrelenting work rate - but Bromwich is becoming a leader. In awful conditions, he refused to come off in the first half against Scotland and played more than 70 minutes in the match.
"I didn't want to lose that game,” Bromwich said. "(There were) also a lot of boys on their debuts (and) I didn't want to not be out there with them. I wanted to stay out there as long as I could and help them along.”