New Kangaroos hooker Damien Cook said he felt like he let his teammates and the Australian jersey down in the side's loss to the Kiwis last weekend but two-time Origin series-winning captain Danny Buderus disagrees.
A text-message exchange between NSW Origin No.9 Cook and the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues assistant coach has the Kangaroos rake primed for an improved second-up performance when Australia clashes with Tonga on Saturday.
"I send the odd text message here and there, obviously that relationship is there, you've got to want to keep investing in it," Buderus told NSWRL.com.au.
"The first thing I said to him was obviously 'Congratulations' – he's had such a big year. He was about to live out another dream, that's what pulling on that green and gold jersey is all about.
"I said you can't worry about the people that have gone before you. It's a specialist position, you can't look back at who was playing in that jersey before you."
Cook was pitched into a tricky situation with his predecessor - 56-time Australian Kangaroos rep and ex-captain, Cameron Smith - arguably the best player to ever wear the green and gold.
Buderus said the Blues and Kangaroos hooker must step up and create his own legacy in the country's colours, and not attempt to replicate Smith's craft.
"'Cookie's got another chance, just to play his own game. That's the biggest thing for him, sometimes it's tough to back yourself in a new team," Buderus said.
"[Cook] is one of those guys who just needs to take their opportunities when they come and don't try to 'over' play it.
"Everyone knows now how he plays, if he gets a quick play-the-ball, he's gone. They need to keep pushing up around him."
The NRL confirmed on Wednesday that the Australia-Tonga clash will be played in front of more than 30,000 parochial fans, a fact that won't haunt Cook and the 'cauldron'-hardened Blues Kangaroos.
"That 'Origin' environment – that Queensland versus New South Wales feel – will certainly help these boys. They've got that experience of playing in front of those really vocal and passionate crowds," Buderus said.
"But it's set to be a totally new and unique situation for everyone out there – an Australia-Tonga match – what they're about to walk into, no one knows what that feels like.
"It's just so exciting to sit and imagine what it would be like to be going out there to play in that game. The way the Tongans support their team, it's going to be an awesome occasion.
"To be a part of it, it would be one to remember."