Jesse Bromwich says Kiwis will learn from reality check as skipper rallies troops for Four Nations defence
New Zealand captain Jesse Bromwich is under no illusions of the job in front of his side if they are to reverse last week's disappointing defeat to Australia and defend their Four Nations crown.
The Kiwis departed for the UK on Wednesday, four days after being given a huge wake-up call in the 26-6 loss to the Kangaroos in Perth.
Bromwich was part of a well-beaten forward pack while the rugby league side regularly turned over possession and struggled for cohesion in attack.
The Melbourne Storm prop was confident they were all issues that could be rectified, but only if they took the right attitude with them on the long-haul flight to England.
"It's an easy fix but it's going to be hard work," Bromwich said.
"We just went away from building pressure. We didn't put ourselves in the game and we didn't give ourselves a chance.
"We couldn't get any work done in the middle so we'll definitely be looking to improve that."
Much has been made of coach David Kidwell's handling of the interchange after Jason Taumalolo and, to a lesser extent, Bromwich was left on the bench for substantial parts of the match.
Bromwich admitted it was an area that needed to be worked on but was more disappointed that the players let Kidwell down in his first match in charge.
"Obviously 'Kiddy' [Kidwell] has only had the one week with us and besides the game I thought the whole week was great," he added.
"We did everything right, prepared fantastic, ticked all the boxes but it's just up to us to perform and we definitely didn't do that."
Bromwich was making just his second appearance as captain and apart from dealing with the media, he says little has changed with his role in the side.
The 27-year-old prefers to lead by example and is happy to let the playmakers steer the team around the park.
But he's more than willing to speak up when required.
"My job out there is just to stay calm, not let it overawe me and hopefully have a word to Shauny [Johnson] and that on what I think they could do a bit better at the time."
It wasn't all doom and gloom in Perth.
New Zealand showed great resilience in defence at times and they still have a strong squad with a nice mix of exciting young talent, who Bromwich believes will benefit greatly from the week in camp.
While he was on the losing side in the NRL grand final, 10 of New Zealand's playing 17 didn't feature at all in the finals.
That may have led to a largely rusty performance against the Kangaroos but Bromwich believes it could be a blessing in disguise.
"It's a long season and 26 rounds is pretty hard to get through so freshening up the legs at the end of the year could be a good thing.
"Hopefully that goes to show in this tournament."
The Kiwis open their campaign against hosts England in Huddersfield on October 30 (NZ time).