Kiwis Can Feel An Upset Coming
As the Kiwis finished off their preparations for the Four Nations final at Anfield, Adam Blair admitted the feeling in camp has been similar to that experienced during some of New Zealand's recent tournament victories.
The veteran forward has played in each of the Kiwis' last three international triumphs, where the men in black and white got up over Australia to claim the 2014 and 2010 Four Nations titles, as well as the 2008 Rugby League World Cup crown.
A calm atmosphere, coupled with a noticeable increased intensity at training sessions, are the common themes Blair links to previous successes.
"I think if I look back at some of the bigger games, the Wellington Four Nations final (in 2014), the World Cup in '08, it's similar to those," Blair said.
"After on and off performances throughout the tournament… it brings back some memories.
"I think [there are similar themes of a calmness in camp] and that is how it has been feeling so far, everyone is quite relaxed but when we have trained everyone has put in the hard work and the intensity has been really high.
"I am excited by what is to come, but at the same time knowing that we have done all the hard work thus far."
The form guide heavily favours the Kangaroos ahead of the final on Monday morning (AEDT), with Australia unbeaten in five Tests this year, including three wins over New Zealand.
The Kiwis also come off a disappointing 18-all draw with Scotland last week, which saw them become the first top-tier nation to fail to beat a tier-two side at a Four Nations tournament.
But captain Jesse Bromwich said he had full confidence that his side would show the very best of what they are capable of at Anfield.
"Just the magnitude of the game (the players will be up for it), it's a massive game and our last game of the year, if we can't get up for this then we can't get up for anything," the 27-year-old prop said.
"We all need to prepare well and everyone needs to turn up individually tomorrow and play their best game for us to win this match."
Australia won both of the previous Four Nations tournaments held in England in 2009 and 2011, while the Kiwis failed to make the final on both of those occasions.
This article first appeared on NRL.com