29 Oct 2011

Kangaroos coach fuming despite win after Kiwis bashing

4:39 pm on 29 October 2011

They won but the Australian rugby league coach isn't happy after the Kangaroos copped a bashing in their 26-12 victory over New Zealand in the Four Nations opener in Warrington.

The reigning champion Kiwis came back from three tries and 16-0 behind at half-time, but lost by five tries to two.

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens complained to gathered media after the match over several injuries including suspected broken ribs to centre Willie Tonga and a broken nose for halfback Cooper Cronk.

Kiwis hooker Issac Luke could find himself in hot water by the match review committee after poleaxing David Shillington with a cannonball challenge low down on his legs in the second half.

Shillington was left writhing in agony and looked deeply distressed after Luke tackled him around the legs as he was being held by Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Simon Mannering.

No action was taken against the South Sydney rake and Sheens was unhappy at the performance of English referee Phil Bentham, accusing Luke of being a serial offender.

Sheens also couldn't believe how slow the play the ball was, saying it's the slowest he's seen in a long time.

Next Sunday morning's Test against Wales now looms as a must-win for the Kiwis.

Australia face hosts England in the earlier game, also at Wembley.