Graham Lowe has labelled Kangaroos prop Steve Price “old and out of gas” as New Zealand rugby league identities queue up to predict a Kiwis World Cup upset on Sunday.
Former Kiwis coach Lowe offered a staggering appraisal of Warriors captain Price, 34, and his fellow Kangaroos prop Petero Civoniceva, 32, ahead of Sunday’s trans-Tasman test here.
“The two have been fantastic performers and I’m not being disrespectful, but I think they are showing signs that the miles are starting to clock up. It’s starting to get to them,” Lowe told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Lowe said the Kangaroos’ mobility would restricted with two similar props in the starting side and the Kiwis young, dynamic pack could find an edge.
“Twenty-five minutes into the game I think New Zealand’s preparation will become evident. I think (coach) Steve Kearney’s men are in the box seat.”
Former Kiwis Gary Freeman and Daryl Halligan both told the Telegraph an upset was on the cards.
Said Freeman: “They can beat the Aussies, no doubt. In the Centenary test (in May) the Kiwis were down by 20-odd points early but only got beaten narrowly (28-12). They have to come out at 100 miles per hour. Benji (Marshall) is fully fit and Lance Hohaia will give them spark from the back.”
Halligan also confidently tipped a Kiwis win.
“I think they are a better defensive side than in the past. They won’t have Frank Pritchard and Sonny Bill Williams on the edges but they will still send out a very strong side.
“The only negative would be an injury to Benji Marshall — that would put a real dent in their campaign.”