Roos rookie expecting hostile Kiwi welcome

GOOD TIMES: David Klemmer celebrates scoring a try against Samoa with teammates.
GOOD TIMES: David Klemmer celebrates scoring a try against Samoa with teammates. GETTY IMAGES

HE is a one-Test veteran, but Josh Jackson knows what to expect if he retains his place in Kangaroos coach Tim Sheen's 17-man team to tangle with New Zealand in Saturday's Four Nations final in Wellington.

"We're expecting a hostile crowd," said the young Bulldogs forward who is hoping he did enough off the bench against Samoa on Sunday to hold his place for the final.

Jackson and his losing NRL grand final teammate David Klemmer made their Test debuts at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Klemmer kissing the Australian crest on his jumper after scoring a try.

"I came off the field on Sunday pinching myself and saying 'you just played for Australia', and as a kid that's all I ever wanted to do," said Jackson (pictured), who grew up watching his idol Greg Inglis play.

The Bulldogs pair will be hoping Sheens was happy enough with their contributions to trust them to do the job in the final against a Kiwis side quietly confident of repeating its 30-12 win over Australia in Brisbane last month.

"That was a very tough game, but obviously I wasn't a part of it," the young Bulldogs forward said.

"They are a quality side. We have to give them the respect they deserve and make sure we are disciplined and look after the football."

The result in Brisbane was a far cry from the 34-2 thrashing Australia handed the Kiwis in the World Cup final at Old Trafford last November.

The Kangaroos won't be putting that score on the Kiwis in their own backyard this weekend, with the side being far less experienced than the one they fielded in Manchester.

Sheens has the services of just five players from that victorious line-up: Inglis, Cooper Cronk, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker and Cameron Smith.

He is expected to stick with the 17 players who beat Samoa, although said before the team flew to New Zealand that he would have a "good look" at the video before deciding if he needed to make any changes for the final.

New Zealand exposed Australia's lack of size in the front-row at Suncorp Stadium.

The Kangaroos looked better against Samoa with Josh Papalii and Aaron Woods in the front row, allowing Sam Thaiday to play on the edge where he was a constant threat to the defence.

Kiwis forward Adam Blair said he was pleased Australia had won through to the final.

"You always want to play the best. You know you're in for a big match-up then," he said.

"They're gelling a lot better than they were in the first game and obviously we're up for a massive Test match."

Topics:  kangaroos rugby league sport

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