Meninga gives us confidence, says Smith

This article first appeared in League Express. Read it first every Monday by purchasing League Express in stores, or if you can’t wait that long, get the online edition on a Sunday evening at

Australian captain Cameron Smith says the national coach Mal Meninga has infused his team with confidence and belief as they eye a place in the Four Nations final.

Australia accounted for New Zealand 14-8 on Saturday, the Kangaroos’ fourth straight win under Meninga since he took over from Tim Sheens.

“We’ve played as one rather than relying on some individuals to try and get the team across the line,” he said.

“One of the biggest assets that Mal brings to the side is self-belief. And encouraging belief in your team-mates. So all you need to worry about on game day is going out and doing your job and playing your role for the team.

“And you can see the way that the young guys and the debutants have played on this tour so far, including the Perth game. They’ve just gone out on that field with a lot of confidence and got the job done. I think that’s the biggest difference.”

Australia lost the 2014 Four Nations title to New Zealand and with it the number one world ranking. Smith believes now the Kangaroos have regained confidence in their own ability, as they target a win over England in London this Sunday.

“We haven’t really focused on the opposition much,” he added.

“It’s just been about preparing well throughout the week, giving ourselves an opportunity to showcase what we can do on game day.”