WITH the game taking place at Anfield tomorrow, Quays News sport editor looks at the two teams, and where the game could be won.
When the top two teams in World rugby league take to the field in Liverpool tomorrow, it’s not just the No.1 spot in the world that is up for grabs.
When the two last met in a final, the World Cup in 2013, Australia ran out convincing winners at Old Trafford, beating the holders 2-34 at the theatre of dreams.
It was a disappointing end to what had been a superb tournament.
This time around, There is less to choose between the two teams. Despite the fact that Australia beat the Kiwis 14-8 in Coventry on bonfire night, coach Mal Meninga knows just how dangerous a foe the New Zealand team can be.
“We are expecting a tough, physical encounter” he told Quays news earlier in the week.
“They are going to come out all guns blazing.”
Anfield is a bit of a dream come true for the Australian legend…
He said: “I was a Liverpool fan when I was young and when I was at Saints, I used to come and watch Liverpool play.
“Craig Johnston was my hero here – he’s a good Australian!”
Australia are 1/4 favourites with the bookmakers, and will be led by Cameron Smith in probably his last tournament, who along with Johnathan Thurston and Greg Inglis form the spine of not only the National side, but also the Queensland “State of Origin” side.
“There’s no difference when we come together in the green and gold,” Smith told Quays News.
“We all play for one team here, and Mal has instilled a belief in us that we can beat anybody.”
Meninga’s side lost to New Zealand in the 2014 Four Nations final and the two sides have each lifted the trophy twice over the four previous tournaments, and this is likely to be the last time the tournament is played in it’s current form, as the international federation looks to overhaul the the calendar, post World Cup.
With Kiwi coach David Kidwell having to replace Thomas Leuluai who suffered a broken jaw in the draw with Scotland last week, it’ll be captain Jessie Bromwich who will have to lead from the front.