Johnson: Kiwis need to remember feeling of Four Nations hammering


New Zealand half-back Shaun Johnson says the Kiwis must remember the feeling of their 34-8 loss to Australia in the Four Nations final ahead of next year's Rugby League World Cup.

David Kidwell's men were aiming to retain the title they won back in 2014 but suffered a fourth defeat in a row to the Kangaroos, who produced a dominant performance in Sunday's tournament showpiece at Anfield.

Australia outscored New Zealand six tries to two on Merseyside, with Jordan Kahu's late double scant consolation in a loss that was strikingly similar to the 34-2 humbling the Kiwis suffered in the same fixture in the 2013 World Cup final.

Asked what needs to change for New Zealand ahead of the 2017 World Cup, Johnson was non-committal, saying: "We're just going to let this sink in and remember this feeling, because it hurts.

"We've come all this way for a purpose and to achieve something as a group and when you don't do it, for whatever reason, it doesn't feel good.

"I'll let the coaching staff go over all that, review the whole campaign, all that sort of stuff which they'll go through and [for us] it's time to switch off."

New Zealand won just one of their four games in the tournament, beating England by a single point before losing to Australia and suffering the ignominy of being held to an 18-18 draw by tournament minnows Scotland.

Despite their underwhelming performance in England, Johnson insisted the team are fully behind coach Kidwell, who took over from Stephen Kearney earlier in the year.

Johnson instead preferred to focus on the plethora of errors that allowed Australia to build an unassailable 24-0 lead at half-time

"Yeah we do [still have faith in Kidwell]," Johnson added. "It's hard because he coaches the game plan and he tells us the things we need to focus on, as players we went out there and pretty much did the complete opposite.

"The errors, however many it was in that first period, just put us too far behind."