Andrew Dunemann

Aussie and Kiwis face-off with Andrew Dunemann

14 Nov 2014

The Aussie juggernaut just keeps on keeping on. Arguably at our most vulnerable position in living memory; when the whips got cracking in the past 2 games an under strength/in transition Kangaroos side have come through with flying colours.

(pic credit NRL Photos)

The scene is now set for a pulsating four nations final. In all honesty a fitting final for what has been a superb tournament so far as the quality of footy on show. You have to feel sorry for the Poms, who more than played their part in all of their matches, but ultimately they just don't know how to win and basically lost all the big moments in their games against the Aussies and Kiwis.

Whilst we all know the likes of James Graham, the Burgess brothers and Sam Tomkins, the person who really caught my eye was hooker Daryl Clark, who was outstanding for the English. He would absolutely kill it in the NRL and I would imagine even though he has recently signed a 4 year deal with Warrington, I can see him playing in the colours of an NRL team before the end of that deal. The other guy I would love to see play in Australia is their centre Callum Watkins, who I think could become a superstar Down Under. At the end of the day though, again it was the quality of their halves combination which let them down, with some poor last play options and not taking control of the big moments. As far as you can look back it’s seemed they have always had a standout international class half, but not another to complement. 

This weekend’s match sees the Kiwis on home soil and the Aussies as the underdogs. It’s not often Australia is in this position and I can see them using such a scenario as motivation. But being motivated only takes you so far and it will come down to the execution when the big moments in the game present themselves. New Zealand will look to attack down Australia's right edge and challenge both Dylan Walker and Sione Matautia with their decision making. Understandably both have had their moments with some poor decisions. Defensively, Australia will look to dominate the ruck enabling the inside defenders to get forward and take time off the Kiwis halves enabling the outside defenders to make more composed decisions. The ruck is where this game will be won and lost, the 1-referee model used in International footy will be tested for the first real time in the tournament. Both teams will look to push the time in the tackle and on the ground to its limit. Inevitably, whoever wins that battle will gain a huge advantage and defend and attack on the front foot.