SBW taken off as a precaution as New Zealand thump Scotland

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

Despite the best efforts from Stephen Kearney to hose down any speculation regarding a potential injury to key back-rower Sonny Bill Williams, the talk is still there as Kearney says it was merely a precaution and nothing more.

With the New Zealand side putting in a strong showing and building on their solid form so far in the World Cup, things are building nicely for the Kiwis after their 40-4 win over the Scottish side.

“All the players who came off were taken off as a precaution because we had got ourselves into a position where we were able to do that,” said Kearney.

“Now we will assess them over the next week.

“It was a pretty good performance because it has been a tough week of preparing for the match.

Set to play the winner of the England v France game, the Kiwis now wait with bated breath as to who their opponents will be.

“Everyone expected us to get the result, so the lads have done very well in preparing properly and completing the job.

“We knew Scotland would throw a lot at us early on but we handled it and now we turn our attentions to watching the England versus France match.”

For Scotland, whilst it was a spirited effort, there was just too much firepower from the Kiwis and the Bravehearts could not match it.

Regardless of it all, it is an overall effort that the Scottish rugby league community can be proud of, with the nation making it to the quarter finals for the first time in their history.

For coach Steve McCormack, he knows that the key moving forward is to continue their development as a rugby league nation.

“Everything about this tournament has been excellent for Scotland but now it’s important we move forward from here,” he said.

“We got to the quarter-finals for the first time in our history and we the lads have given everything in this tournament, I’m very proud of them.

“We expected New Zealand to be that good – they are a world-class team and I think it will take a good side to beat them.”

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