19 Nov 2017

Kidwell's future uncertain

5:45 pm on 19 November 2017

The Kiwis coach David Kidwell says he had a sleepless night thinking about his future but hasn't come to a decision on it yet.

Kiwis coach David Kidwell

Kiwis coach David Kidwell Photo: Photosport

New Zealand have been dumped out of the Rugby League World Cup after an embarrassing 4-2 loss to Fiji in the quarter final in Wellington last night.

NZRL chief executive Alex Hayton confirmed a review of the Kiwis coaching staff and management will be undertaken next week following New Zealand's disappointing end to the tournament.

Kidwell said he needs time to let the pain of last night's loss to settle.

"I have to sit down and think how much you put into it and what you get out of it.

"I know I've created something here at the start, it's whether I want to continue, or people let me continue into seeing the fruits of the start of this, but at the end of the day I'll do what's best for the jersey," Kidwell said.

New Zealand's Shaun Johnson dejected  after the loss. Kiwis v Fiji, Rugby League World Cup.

A dejected Kiwis half Shaun Johnson after the loss to Fiji Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Despite the disappointment, Kidwell says there are still positives to take from the World Cup campaign.

He pointed to the development of young players such as Canberra second-rower Joe Tapine, 21-year-old hooker Danny Levi and Melbourne Storm forward Nelson Asofa- Solomona.

"We've unearthed some young talent there," Kidwell said.

"I've seen Joe Tapine, how much he's grown; he's a future leader.

"Young Danny Levi, there were question marks over him or Issac Luke, and I thought he was exceptional throughout the whole campaign.

"You've got young Nelson, he still learning, he's only 21 and he'll learn from this experience."

After opening their World Cup campaign with comfortable wins over Scotland and Samoa, the Kiwis were beaten 28-22 by Tonga last week before falling to Fiji.

New Zealand Rugby League chief Alex Hayton says the losses were disappointing, and admits they would damage the Kiwis' brand.

"It's not what anyone wanted but we'll go through the process and understand where we can do better," he said.

"It will have an impact on the game. If you're trying to get people to play rugby league and aspire to be Kiwis, then having a successful international team is an important part of that," he said.

"You could say the brand has been damaged, but if they come back and they're winning next year, then it re-establishes.

"We're all passionate about our sports, and we all want our national teams to do well, and sometimes you've got to take the hits with the successes."