Win over Leeds Rhinos was “really important” for New Zealand as Michael Maguire praises Rhinos

New Zealand are the number one ranked team in the world at the moment and want to cement that with a World Cup win emulating their success in 2008.

They showed just how good they are with a 74-0 win over Leeds Rhinos tonight as they prepare for a real assault on the World Cup trophy and after the game ex-Wigan boss Michael Maguire noted that it was a really important hit out for his New Zealand side despite the score.

“It was really important to have a hit out like that,” Maguire said after the game, “Despite the scoreline, it was actually a really good hit out for a lot of our players a lot of them haven’t played for six or seven weeks so it was good.”

Despite the fact some of their players hadn’t played in weeks, the Kiwis hardly missed a beat and Maguire praised his players for doing so: “Yeah they’ve had a couple of training sessions, the group has been together for quite some time now over the years so the connections are strong. We were able to put on some points and build some connections which was good.”

He also praised the Rhinos.

He noted how difficult it must have been turning around after a Grand Final ready to play a game like this and also praised they way they started the game by putting New Zealand under pressure from the off: “They jumped on us early and asked some questions of us. A big ask for the Leeds boys to turn around from a Grand Final and two weeks later they’re playing.

“I’m fortunate to have a number of the best players in the world in my squad so it was a big ask for them.”

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