Star five-eighth predicts the Kangaroos will leave nothing to chance against New Zealand.
Previous form and results count for nothing, Australia playmaker Johnathan Thurston claimed ahead of Saturday’s Rugby League World Cup final against defending champions New Zealand.
Both teams are unbeaten going into the showcase game of what has been a highly successful tournament, at Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium.
The Kangaroos have notched up a 210-2 points tally in their four games since their opening 28-20 pool win over England, while the Kiwis had to rely on a last-gasp converted try from Shaun Johnson to claim a sensational 20-18 win over England in their semi-final.
“When you think about it, it’s very exciting to be able to play at a ground with so much history and a World Cup final, it’s going to be a memory the boys will never forget,” said Thurston.
“Obviously nothing we’ve done in the past matters anymore, it’s about what we do tomorrow at this ground.
“We need 17 players to play their best footy to beat this Kiwi side, they’ve got strike power all over the park and can score tries from anywhere, so no doubt we need everyone to play their best football to win this World Cup.”
Thurston is nothing but durable, and his Kangaroos career to one side, he is the sole player to have played in all 27 games of Queensland’s eight-year State of Origin winning streak between 2006-13.
But the be-gloved, Brisbane-born half-back was not too keen on the cold, rainy conditions at Old Trafford.
“From what I hear it’s meant to be a nice warm six degrees tomorrow when we’re playing, so we’re looking forward to that,” he joked.
Thurston added: “We’ve done our homework on the Kiwi side, we play a lot of those boys back home (in the NRL), we know each and every individual’s weaknesses and strengths, and no doubt they’ll have done the same.
“At a mutual venue that is sold out, hopefully we can just put on a great spectacle for the fans and people watching around the world.”
Forward Matthew Scott agreed that the respective previous results, with many pundits suggesting Australia could be undercooked, will count for nothing.
“We can’t take the (64-0 semi-final) scoreline from our game against Fiji into too much consideration,” said Scott.
“We will do our homework on the Kiwis and come out against them as strong as we can.
“I thought it went pretty well against Fiji, we kept our defensive focus and to keep another team to nil was pretty good.
“The defence has been good throughout the tournament. We conceded a couple of easy tries against England early on but since then we spoke about improving in that area, and to our credit, we have.
“But we are going to have to be a lot better in all areas to beat New Zealand. We are coming up against top opposition now and against Fiji I think we lost our way a little bit with some of our plays.”
Tournament director Nigel Wood also announced Friday that the final was a sell-out, meaning it will become the best attended international rugby league match of all time. Both the Kiwis and Kangaroos will also play in front of their biggest ever crowd.
“Both New Zealand and Australia have been superb throughout this tournament and neither will give an inch in the final. Everything points to a fantastic day and one which this amazing RLWC2013 richly deserves,” said Wood.