Jason Taumalolo barges through the Australian defence last weekend in Coventry.
Jason Taumalolo barges through the Australian defence last weekend in Coventry. Nigel Roddis

Taumalolo surprised by Kiwi Four Nations omission

RUGBY LEAGUE: Star Cowboys forward Jason Taumalolo has admitted he is disappointed with the way coach David Kidwell has used him in the New Zealand team during the Four Nations.

The Kiwis must aim for a big win over Scotland in Workington on Saturday morning (AEST) to reach the final in case England upsets Australia the following day.

Going into the final weekend, England has a 30-point points differential advantage over New Zealand. Unbeaten Australia heads the table.

But Taumalolo has been left out, with Kidwell selecting Greg Eastwood, who played just 15 minutes as a starting prop against the Kangaroos in Coventry, at lock.

Eastwood made one run and 10 tackles in his strange cameo against Australia.

"I'm pretty disappointed I'm not playing. I'm not complaining but I would have liked to play alongside the boys,” the reigning joint-Dally M Medallist told New Zealand radio.

It's in stark contrast to games against England, where played almost the entire 80 minutes, and Australia, when he played 70.

He only played more than 70 minutes once during the 2016 NRL season with the Cowboys preferring to use him between 45 and 60 minutes a game.

"I'm more of a power-based player having 20 to 30 minute spurts ...which would be the ideal way to use me. I can play longer minutes if needed but I'm used to having those spurts and a 10 minute break.”

"I've got no idea what he's planning for the next week if we make the final...that's not my call but I fully trust him,” Taumalolo said.


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