Rugby League World Cup: Scots need fast start against Kiwis.

Scotland's Ben Hellewell
Scotland coach Steve McCormack felt a slow start cost his side against Tonga

Scotland coach Steve McCormack insists a fast start is vital when his side meet New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup on Saturday.

The Scots lost 50-4 to Tonga in their first group match and are now looking to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the competition's history.

"We're a very young team, with a lot of experience missing," said McCormack.

"But I was proud of our second half and we need to start against New Zealand like we finished against Tonga."

McCormack's side earned an 18-18 draw with the Kiwis in the sides' last meeting in the 2016 Four Nations Series, but McCormack says that result is irrelevant.

"That's gone now," he said. "They will look forward. They've got higher expectations when you put a Kiwi jumper on. From our point of view, we haven't spoken about last year and I'm sure David Kidwell [New Zealand coach] has not done either.

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Rugby League World Cup 2017: Tonga hammer Scotland in opening match

"Coming into the tournament a few people wrote New Zealand off but we certainly didn't. I thought they were really good against Samoa [38-8 win for Kiwis].

"I think David Kidwell has done a fantastic job. I've spent a bit of time with him over the last year and I've got a lot of respect for him."

McCormack is likely to hand debuts to Brandon Wilkinson and Jarred Anderson while Addin Fonua-Blake will win his first cap for the Kiwis and 22-year-old playmaker Te Maire Martin will start his first Test match after making his debut off the bench in that 18-18 at Workington last November.

Kidwell insists he is not showing disrespect to Scotland by resting key players for Saturday's game, with match against Tonga up ahead.

"We have got to give Scotland respect," Kidwell said. "They are going to come out firing. Last year they gave us a really good run in an 18-all draw so we definitely respect Scotland.

"We have got an opportunity to rest a few of the older guys. We have got ones who are 100% fit and younger and it was always in my plan to give them a go.

"We need those experienced players as the tournament goes on so I thought it was a great time to give them a bit of a rest and refresh and get behind the young guys."

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