Rapana happy to go conservative
Following a stunning two-try performance for the Kiwis against England last week, winger Jordan Rapana said he will be more than happy to trade remarkable for reliable against the Kangaroos in Coventry.
Playing just his second Test for the Kiwis, Rapana was among New Zealand's best in their opening game of the 2016 Four Nations, scoring in the first and second half to help his side get home 17-16 against the host nation in Huddersfield.
By the end of the match the 27-year-old flyer had 214 run metres and a pair of line breaks to his name, but Rapana told NRL.com he would be adopting a more conservative approach for this weekend's clash against the world champions.
"I know playing against Australia that as a winger you are not going to have a field day and score a whole lot of tries," Rapana said.
"You do have to play more conservatively because you can't make mistakes against Australia.
"Sometimes against them you just have to take your medicine and get into the arm wrestle.
"As a winger you are aware that they will target the back three, and the focus for every game you go into is to make sure you are not that player that gives up the easy fumble or the easy penalty.
"It is a goal for me in every game."
Like most of his teammates, Rapana endured a tough night at the office against the Kangaroos in Perth earlier this month, finishing his debut match with three errors.
One of the major lessons to come out of that 26-6 loss for the former Cook Island international was the work which needs to be done off the ball to combat Australia's kicking in general play.
"You have always got to be on your toes, my first Test for the Kiwis was against Australia and I have never blown so hard you know, they had me on my bike by kicking here, there and everywhere," Rapana said.
"Guys like Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith are quality players and if you aren't on your toes they will make sure you get found out.
"We have to be smart and cover each other, otherwise those guys will kick from everywhere and do some damage."
The Kiwis take on the Kangaroos in the second match of the Four Nations double-header in Coventry this Sunday morning (AEDT).