Ex-Kiwis utility Tony Kemp has slammed the likes of Shaun Johnson, Adam Blair and coach David Kidwell, who hit out at a lack of support from fans and the community after the embarrassing Rugby League World Cup exit at the hands of Fiji.
Following the 4-2 loss in Wellington that dumped New Zealand from the tournament, star player Johnson indicated that the critics of the Kiwis had got what they wanted with the elimination, something the captain and coach would later back up.
However, speaking to TVNZ 1's Te Karere, Kemp made it clear that something was seriously wrong within the Kiwis to even consider that narrative.
"The consistency around the message - especially from three people, the coach and two senior leaders - for me says that was the motivation," Kemp said.
"The theme, quite simply was that no one wanted them to win - that's what the message was, and that's totally wrong."
Kemp also made it clear that the perceived belief within the camp went against everything that he stood for during his time representing New Zealand.
"When I head that as an ex-Kiwi player, I thought a lot of us who've worn that jersey would be quite hurt from those comments.
"There's no way in the world I've ever watched the Kiwi team - since I was a kid to when I made the Kiwi team to the last loss against Fiji - I've expected a Kiwi team to lose."