Paul Gallen: Beating Kiwis won't make Kangaroos number one

Paul Gallen. Photo / Getty
Paul Gallen. Photo / Getty

Kangaroos prop Paul Gallen has dismissed Australia's claims to the world No.1 ranking should they beat the Kiwis at Hunter Stadium in Friday night's Anzac Test.

The Sharks skipper says it will take more than just a victory over their archrivals in a one-off Test to regain the mantle, after revealing New Zealand's recent record of three straight Test wins over the Kangaroos had been a major talking point among the team at a number of meetings since they went into camp to prepare for the clash in Newcastle.

"We have lost our last three Tests to the Kiwis," he said. "We know that. We can't hide from that.

"We've accepted that but now the goal is to get Australia back to No.1.

"It all starts this Friday night and it's going to be a big ask playing against a great side with a good forward pack.

"We are going to have to perform really well to do that."

Asked if victory will guarantee the team anything, Gallen said:
"I don't think it will guarantee us the No.1 ranking. It's a step in the right direction and there is obviously a Four Nations tour at the end of the year and I think if we manage to win on Friday and then win that, it will probably get us back up there.

"But Friday night is just a step in the right direction for us and we need to play well and we need to win.

"We should be the best nation in the world. The Kangaroos is a great brand and it's something that is known for being No.1 and that's where we want to be."

While betting markets and pundits have given the Kiwis little hope of causing an upset with key players including the likes of Kieran Foran, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke missing, Gallen and his frontrow partner Matt Scott still have enormous respect for their rival forward pack.

"They have a great forward pack, that's their strength and it probably always has been," Gallen said.

"In the last three Tests, we've seen they have taken us through the middle and made plenty of yards and probably restricted the yards that we have made so it's a big challenge for me, Matt Scott and Corey Parker in the middle field to get us on a roll."

Scott said the Kiwi pack presented a huge challenge for the Kangaroos.
"Especially with the form they are in and the guys they have got in their side," he said.
"You look at their forward pack with Jason (Taumalomo) and Jesse Bromwich, who I think is one of the best frontrowers in the competition at the moment. It's a big task for myself and Gal and the rest of the pack.

"There is also the pressure there with losing the last three Tests to them so for myself, it's a big job Friday night."


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