Mal Meninga's Kangaroos wary of New Zealand in Four Nations final

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga. Photo / Getty Images
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga. Photo / Getty Images

Mal Meninga says the Kiwis will feel like they have a second chance. Skipper Cameron Smith believes you do not have to look too far back for a reminder of how the Kangaroos have been stung by the Kiwis.

The Kiwis are rank outsiders as they prepare to face the Kangaroos in the Four Nations final at Anfield on Monday.

The Kangaroos have beaten them already three times this year - twice in the past month - and New Zealand narrowly avoided humiliation when they held on for a draw against the lowly ranked Scotland side last weekend. Had England beaten Australian the Kiwis would have been bundled out of the tournament.

But they still hold the No. 1 ranking and the Four Nations trophy. And because of this the Kangaroos are wary according to Meninga.

"They will feel they are a lucky and have a chance," Meninga said.

"They still believe they can beat us. There is no doubt they will come ready and prepared feeling like they've got a second chance.

"Because of that they'll play as best as possibly can."

Smith has been burnt by the Kiwis too often in recent seasons to take them lightly. He saw them claim the 2008 World Cup and the Four Nations two years later.

New Zealand also won the 2014 Four Nations, and had beaten Australia in the three consecutive Tests before this year.

"I played in both of those matches where everyone thought Australia would turn up and win and we didn't," Smith said of the 2008 and 2010 losses.

"We're not under illusions about who we are facing this week and what they are capable of doing.

"They are ranked number one in the world. Coming off their match (against Scotland), they'll be desperate to show everyone what they are capable of doing.

"We played them last week and we won, just. They had an opportunity on the bell to beat us. They would've thought they were unlucky not to beat us."

- news.com.au

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