WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 18: Danny Levi and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck of the Kiwis look on after losing the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final match between New Zealand and Fiji at Westpac Stadium on November 18, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, this Kiwi team has a soft underbelly.

Those were the disgruntled words of former Kiwis coach Brian McClennan.

Famously coaching New Zealand to a 24-0 win over Australia in 2005, an emotional McClennan expressed his dismay following the Kiwis historic early exit from the tournament, after Fiji ran triumph by two points.

Shedding tears when interviewed, McClennan was puzzled after Kiwis captain Adam Blair suggested that their elimination wasn't a negative, perplexed by his comments, McClennan described their 'unacceptable' disintegration, and concluded that coach David Kidwell won't take the Kiwis further.

"I'm surprised by how 'Blairy' talked at the end there; it's bizarre," McClennan said.

"I know Blairy. He's just got it wrong, whoever is teaching him this, you've got it wrong, you've got to wear your heart on your sleeve all the time, you're representing your country."

Kiwis fell on their own sword last weekend when they leaked five tries against a rampant Tonga outfit. Thirteen errors this week didn't help New Zealand either.

McClennan slammed Kiwi's inability to play under adversity, suggesting that it'll result in the omission of Kidwell from the head coaching role.

"Unfortunately this Kiwi team has a soft underbelly, they don't rise up and play tough and they are not an intelligent team," McClennan said.

"Just a dumb performance… it's a dumb performance when you try and solve problems on your own. There's a lack of leadership through the team.

"There needs to be a thorough analysis of what's going on with the Kiwis and New Zealand league.

"I think it probably will [result in Kidwell no longer being coach], and I am sad to say that, but in this business, you live by the sword, you die by the sword."

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