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Australia coach Tim Sheens has called on his players to stay fully focused for the entire 80 minutes when they take on New Zealand in Saturday’s Rugby League World Cup Final.
The Kiwis came from behind to break English hearts in the semi-final last weekend courtesy of Shaun Johnson’s converted try which came in the last play of the game.
The 20-18 defeat was hard for England to take but Sheens himself has had first-hand experience of such a defeat.
The Kiwis won the 2010 Four Nations Series in similar fashion in Brisbane, something Sheens has not forgotten ahead of this weekend’s meeting.
Sheens has been drilling the need to stay focused into his players all week as he is well aware that New Zealand will keep going to the death.
“England will probably consider themselves unlucky,” Sheens said. “I know how they feel because in 2010 the Kiwis beat us in Brisbane in the last play of the last set from 70 metres out.
“That was a home series too. I’m very sympathetic to Steve McNamara in that regard. The Kiwis are capable of doing those things.”
Meanwhile, Sheens also believes there is plenty of strength in depth in the Kiwi squad and they will be able to cope should Manu Vatuvei and Frank Pritchard be ruled out.
“They’ve got a powerful squad whoever they put out,” he said. “The guys that are in doubt didn’t play last week. Like us, they’ve got good options if certain people don’t play.”