England duo worry Kiwis
New Zealand prepare for vital clash against England
Last Updated: November 9, 2011 4:07pm
Rangi Chase: Praise from Kieran Foran
New Zealand half-back Kieran Foran says his side must be wary of England duo Rangi Chase and Sam Tomkins in this weekend's Four Nations shoot-out.
The sides meet in Hull on Saturday in a make-or-break encounter, with the victors progressing to an Elland Road final with Australia and the losers departing the toutnament.
Both have identical records so far, having beaten Wales and lost to Australia in the group stage.
Certain players have stood out for the two teams, and Foran believes that full-back Tomkins, and New Zealand-born Chase - playing against his countrymen for the first time - are worthy of extra attention.
"There are plenty - you can't let them break loose," he told said. "Sam Tomkins and guys like that; if you present them with a loose line they're going to make you pay for it. We're focusing on our defensive line and what we've got to do in order to shut them down."
On Chase, a former New Zealand Maori international who has opted to throw his lot in with England, the Manly Sea Eagle added: "He's had an exceptional year and everyone has seen how he's performed in the Super League, winning Man of Steel there, and he's a fair player and caused some dramas against the Aussies.
"We've spoken a lot about him this week and we're going to have to stay on our guard and try to shut him down. It was fairly surprising when he chose England, but he has to do what's best for his football."
Coach Stephen Kearney has admitted that Chase had been in one of his provisional squads, but opted not to follow up his interest in the Castleford man because of the half-back options available to him.
Benji Marshall, recently shortlisted for the World Player of the Year award, will skipper the Kiwis, while Thomas Leuluai, Isaac Luke or Nathan Fien can also operate in the middle.
As well as that quintet, Shaun Johnson, one of the game's rising stars, was overlooked due to injury.
But despite respecting Chase's decision to choose the Red Rose, Kearney reckons he will always be a New Zealander.
"I'm sure if you ask Rangi, he's still a Kiwi - he just chooses to play for England," he said.
"As I mentioned before, it's unfortunate that he's coming through in an era where we have a lot of talented guys in that position; Benji Marshall, Kieran Foran, Isaac Luke, Thomas Leuluai, Nathan Fien and Shaun Johnson, but we respect Rangi and if he's wearing the opposition jumper, we'll have to treat him accordingly."