Rugby League World Cup: Thomas Leuluai 'underwhelmed' by New Zealand's opening game against Lebanon
Thomas Leuluai says New Zealand expect more from themselves despite starting their Rugby League World Cup campaign with a 34-12 victory over Lebanon.
The former Wigan Warriors captain is part of Michael Maguire’s coaching staff for the tournament.
Leuluai states New Zealand were unhappy with certain areas of their performance in the game at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday night.
He said: “I’m a bit underwhelmed by how we played. We’ve been training really well, building, and we’ve got a great squad, but parts of the game weren’t as we would like.
“It’s great to get our campaign off to a win but we will look to improve on that.
“Lebanon played well, but we expect more of ourselves. Ultimately there are some areas we aren’t happy with.”
Leuluai says he has been keeping an eye on all the games across the tournament, including England’s 60-6 victory over Samoa at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park.
“I was happy for Waney,” he added.
“Coaches are always looking and watching every game, it never really stops. Hopefully we will keep improving so we are involved in some big games in this tournament.
“It’s great to have the international game back in England, there are some great players in action.”
New Zealand’s next Pool C game comes against Jamaica at the MKM Stadium in Hull on Saturday evening (K.O. 7.30pm).
Meanwhile, the other game in that group sees Ireland, who made a winning start to their World Cup campaign, take on Lebanon at Leigh Sports Village.