Big “moments” cost New Zealand World Cup semi-final says coach as he reflects on no try which “could have gone either way”

Michael Maguire’s New Zealand side came up just short in last night’s Rugby League World Cup semi-final against Australia at Elland Road.

His team led 14-10 at the break thanks to tries from Jahrome Hughes and Dylan Brown but a Cameron Murray try in the second half gave Australia the win.

After the game, the former Wigan Warriors boss noted that he was proud of his players believing that they’re closing the gap on Australia at the top and that his side deserved to be playing next week based on their performance: “I believe they’re closing the gap in this level, our players being able to play more games like this at this level to learn how to play those moments, that said a couple of moments out there that if they’d have gone our way it would have been a different story.

“They deserve the opportunity to go again next week.”

To him it was the big moments which went against his side and cost them reflecting on one in particular: “It’s an inch game when you’re playing a test match. The offside could have gone either way but I don’t want to look back at decision, the boys played a really good brand and the thing we’ve done really well is change the identity of New Zealand and how we play the game.

“If a few moments had gone our way it’s a different game. Our boys are willing to grind.”

The Kiwis will now have to watch on as Australia meet England or Samoa in the final next week at Old Trafford.

Nonetheless, the future of New Zealand rugby league looks bright.

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