Internationals Fax this to the Kiwis to fire them up!

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Kiwis win in final a fluke: Fulton
By Dean Ritchie
May 4, 2006

AUSTRALIA selector and rugby league great Bob Fulton last night questioned whether New Zealand's history-making Tri-Nations win last season was a fluke.

Fulton also criticised the wild "ego" of New Zealand coach Brian McClennan as the most anticipated trans-Tasman Test in 98 years draws closer.

Fulton's barb at McClennan continues a hostile week, with players and coaches from both countries exchanging broadsides leading into tomorrow night's Test in Brisbane.

"There's plenty of ego in all of us, sometime it crawls out, but in Brian's case, it has jumped out," Fulton said.

"But I question whether the Tri-Nations win was a fluke.

"The pressure is well and truly on Brian. He has to show that Tri-Nations win wasn't a fluke and that the NZRL (New Zealand Rugby League) will be justified in giving him a new three-year contract."

Fulton was also angered at McClennan's claim the Australians were "narrow minded" for spending much of their preparations in Sydney, not Brisbane.

"The transformation of Brian McClennan in the last six months has been remarkable," Fulton said. "Gone is that laid-back, happy-go-lucky coach who didn't have any pressure on him.

"He kept saying, 'I'm not up to NRL standard' and 'I only coach in Auckland' after winning the Tri-Nations, which I do reckon was a coaching achievement.

"Since then he has engaged in a verbal baiting of Ricky Stuart and his players.
"The latest has been that the Australians should have been in Brisbane this week, not Sydney, promoting the game.

"Well, let me remind Brian that Australia is up in Queensland only a day behind the Kiwis.

"The Australians will also be staying in Brisbane, not on the Gold Coast like the New Zealanders.

"And Ricky Stuart and his team are still talking to the media, not like your mob."

Australia arrived in Brisbane yesterday and trained in the afternoon.

"As a group we will try and win back the mantle of being the world's No.1 rugby league nation," Stuart said.

"We are a very proud rugby league nation, the supporters know that, and we want those fans to be proud of us on Friday.

"We will be doing everything possible to beat New Zealand.

"There seems to be a lot of players hurting from last year's Tri-Nations final loss."

Stuart, however, said his team would not be viewing a replay of that final.

"We won't be going over old ground," he said.

"This is a new football team looking to the future."

New Zealand could blow out to $4.75 outsiders to win tomorrow night's Test in one of the great punting snubs in rugby league history.

The Kiwis are claiming it is a "lack of respect".

TAB Sportsbet has the Kiwis at $4.10 to win the match with Australia $1.20 favourites. Gold Coast bookie Lloyd Merlehan has New Zealand at $4.60 with Centrebet quoting the visitors at $4.50.

They are remarkably generous odds given New Zealand's last match was a crushing 24-0 win over Australia in Leeds in November.

New Zealand great Gary Freeman, who played 46 Tests, is stunned at the lack of support his home country has attracted among the betting agencies.

"The punters aren't showing much respect for New Zealand," Freeman said.

"We are the current Tri-Nations champions, and deservedly so.

"I think this side is better than the team which won the final last year.

"The players are in better form than that match."

The Daily Telegraph


Mate Fulton needs to go get his head checked. I don't think that Brian's "ego" has jumped out at all. That's a load of crap. He may be more confident in his job but that's it. The Tri-Nations a fluke? You can't tell me that a very convincing scoreline of 24-0 was just a fluke. He just still hurting that we beat them at their own game.


A lot of people seem to forget that we also beat them in Sydney last year. This is some how forgotten by most of the Aussie commentators. I re-watched that test last night. If that blind ref and touch judge had of gone to the video ref on the Jake Webster no try (which was!!) we would have gone up 22 - 0 possibly 24 - 0. A score Aussie would not have clawed back from. As it was that was a crucial call in the context of the game. It deflated the kiwis and the Aussies came roaring back. But we still won in a close one.
So I don't think it was a fluke!!


Fulton is simply trying to play McClennan's game. Brian is just baiting Ricky Stuart because he knows the Australian coach is excitable and easily flustered. Fulton is trying to do the same thing in response, but I don't think it will have the desired effect. ;)


Don't ya just love the media aye? heheh!!! That Fulton dude is just an ass. Never mind him, I read what he said it's nothing but bullshit really (sorry for the langugage anyway). Reporters and whoever can say what they want. We just want to see a good, enjoyable game of league!


Oh yes, Fulton, beating Australia twice, once an absolute pants-down hiding, and losing to them very closely once was such a fluke. He will be another Aussie left speechless tomorrow night...

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