After their win over New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup semi-final at Elland Road, Australia skipper James Tedesco and coach Mal Meninga joked about the hostile crowd in Leeds.
Fans got behind the Kiwis chanting “Kiwis!” as ex-Wigan Warriors boss Michael Maguire’s side looked for a winning try as they trailed 16-14 late on.
Tedesco said he “soaks it in” as Meninga said “shock, horror.”
Now Valentine Holmes has spoken about the hostility towards Australia but also said there is a clear respect from the crowds too which is perhaps why the Kangaroos have posted some of the highest attendances in the tournament such as 13,000 at Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley Stadium and 28,000 at Elland Road.
“Hostile crowds is something we’ve spoken about,” Holmes said to Fox League.
“A lot of teams and fans know we’re a pretty world-class team and they like to see us lose and you could say the same thing about the All Blacks, everyone tries to beat them and that’s like us.
“We’re a good team, we know that. (But) we’re not ranked in the top three so we’ve been thinking about that and we try to put our best foot forward.
“The players we have in our team are all world class…I think everyone knows that. They love watching us but they love teams scoring on us too.
“So they still kind of go for us, but it’s always good for the crowd when it’s a close game.”