LEEDS - Stop with the insults - you're not coming through us.
The Australian forward pack wants it known that they're not the weak link in the all-powerful Kangaroos line-up, and they plan to make the point loud and clear against England in Sunday's (NZT) Four Nations clash in Wigan.
New Zealand were quite vocal in pin-pointing the middle of the park as the best avenue through the Kangaroos ahead of last week's 20-all draw in London, and they backed it up as they pounded the Australians with brutal physical and verbal barrages.
While England have yet to prod the beast with any pre-match banter, the likely selection of a pack consisting of Jamie Peacock, former Sydney Roosters hardman Adrian Morley, Wests Tigers back-rower Gareth Ellis and tyro Sam Burgess in their run-on side speaks volumes for where the hosts will aim their attack at DW Stadium.
Asked whether it was an insult that the Australian pack could be seen as a weak link, Kangaroos lock Anthony Watmough said: "It kind of is I suppose.
"We've got some good forwards in our squad so I don't think they'll be going through us.
"We were a bit rusty on the weekend but that was our first hit-out."
The middle of the Australian pack actually held their own against the Kiwis, with the problems being on the edge of the ruck - an area of concern for coach Tim Sheens.
Watmough said the pack made a pledge to hold up their end of the bargain before the tournament opener, and would do so again this weekend.
"We just sat there before the (New Zealand) game and said 'They don't come through the middle'.
"That's got to be our goal every week. We can't have teams going through us because that puts the team on the back foot.
"(England) are going to have a massive pack - they've got front-rowers playing in the back-row like the Kiwis so we're going to have to stand up.
"We've got massive talent out wide so we have to do our job in the middle and, if we can go forward, then they can score some points.
"We've got to win that battle in there first."
And that's a battle Australia know won't be easy.
England showed with their second half display against France that they have the potential to cause the Kangaroos problems and, with a healthy turnout of home fans, they will be fired up.
"It's a huge challenge for us," veteran prop Petero Civoniceva said.
"We all sat there on the weekend and watched the game. Because their pack's huge it's going to be a tough task taking on the likes of Morley, Ellis and Sam Burgess.
"We know what to expect of Adrian Morley and how tough a competitor he is ... he'll definitely lead from the front as he always does.
"Ellis and Burgess on the edges of the ruck - every time they took the line on (against France) they carried a couple of defenders with them.
"They've got that ability to pop and offload as well. Defensively we need to improve a hell of a lot from our performance on the weekend."
The Kangaroos held a video session yesterday as they continued their recovery following the New Zealand match, with their first training session in Leeds to be held today.