The Kiwis face a must-win fixture after letting slip a 10-0 lead to go down 26-12 in Hull last Sunday.
Kearney has kept faith with the same team, but has tinkered with his bench, bringing in experienced duo Lewis Brown and Alex Glenn in place of debutants Kori Nikorima and Sio Siua Taukeiaho.
“There are a few areas in defence we thought we needed to be a lot better at,” Kearney said.
“It’s just a few little adjustments for us that we’ve worked on this week. I didn’t think we were too far wrong. You saw what we could do in the first 30 minutes last week, it’s having the attitude to be able to sustain that for 80 minutes. So for us there’s been a couple of subtle adjustments.”
A win in London would set up a series decider at Wigan a week today and New Zealand co-captain Adam Blair insists his side are fully focused on the task.
“It’s do or die for us,” he said. “We’ve got to go out there and do our best, work hard together to try and get this win.”
The Kiwis have spent the week in London and yesterday got their first look at the Olympic Stadium, which is set to draw a near-capacity crowd.
“It’s wonderful,” Blair said. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere and all the boys are pumped, just walking out here. Their eyes are up looking around.”