Field goal 'scandal' amuses Kiwis
The Kiwis have laughed off the online controversy surrounding Shaun Johnson's match-winning field goal against England last weekend.
In the aftermath of New Zealand's 17-16 victory over the 2016 Four Nations hosts in Huddersfield, sections of social media erupted with claims Johnson's 65th-minute drop goal had actually missed and been incorrectly awarded.
But this week Kiwis back-rower Tohu Harris and Johnson himself dismissed the possibility, and revealed the topic had provided plenty of comedic value for the New Zealand camp ever since the match.
"We definitely had a laugh, we were just surprised that people threw that out there, but it definitely went over," Harris said ahead of this weekend's clash against the Kangaroos in Coventry.
"There was a few of us standing right there, I think I was standing next to Shaun when he took the drop goal.
"As soon as he got it we all started running back and pretty much started thinking about our next job really."
Despite the presence of several England players directly under the posts as the go-ahead kick sailed through the air, the TV coverage doesn't appear to show a single one appealing or second guessing the decision.
It is that which Johnson said is the most damning piece of evidence that it was a successful attempt.
"I don't think any of the players complained on the field, I'd say there were five English players standing in front of the posts and they dropped back to halfway, so I don't know why it becomes an issue after the game is all done," Johnson said.
"Social media says a lot of things these days, doesn't it?
"I guess I probably had the best view out of anyone, and it went over."
The 26-year-old playmaker also revealed 111kg forward Martin Taupau was the surprise star of the show when the round balls came out to finish training on Wednesday morning (AEDT), as part of New Zealand's trip to the Manchester City Academy.
"Big Marty Taupau, surprisingly [was the best football player], he looked like he could control the ball a bit and was having a bit of fun out there," Johnson said.
"He is quite silky for a big fella."