Kieran Foran targets New Zealand improvement as he assesses Fiji challenge ahead

KIERAN FORAN admits New Zealand need to improve after beating Ireland 48-10 at Headingley.

The Kiwis have topped their group, after a third consecutive win, but were sloppy at times in Leeds.

“Parts of our game were really good, and there was parts of our game that we’ll need to improve as we head into next week,” Foran said.

“The tour so far has been really great. But we’re taking it one step at a time. We know we’ve got a decent quarter-final coming up next week.”

“We won’t look any further than that, then we’ll reassess after tonight’s game and look at the areas that we need to improve and try to get them right for next week.”

New Zealand will play Fiji in the quarter-finals in Hull on Saturday (ko 7.30pm).

If they do defeat the Bati, a semi-final date with the Kangaroos is likely to await in Leeds.

Foran plays against most of the Fijian side regularly in the NRL.

“They’ve been pretty impressive so far,” the halfback said.

“They had a great win in their last game and I’m sure they’ll bring a lot to the next game. They’ve got plenty of muscle up front and skill out wide. They’ll be right up for it. 

“We’ll have to step up our game again on top of tonight.”

The Kiwis are gunning for the second World Cup trophy, after winning the competition in 2008.

After a tough few years of Covid-19, with little Rugby League played in the country, and with the All Blacks struggling, it would be an opportune time for New Zealand to claim victory.

“The country’s missed out on a lot of Rugby League for the past few years due to the Covid situation,” Foran said.

“So we hope for the supporters back home are getting up watching the games and getting right behind us. Rest assured they know we’re going to be doing everything we can to try and go all the way.”