Australia’s commanding 44-18 victory over Toa Samoa has set up yet another Trans-Tasman showdown in the historic first Four Nations final played on New Zealand soil at Westpac Stadium in Wellington next Saturday (8.30pm kick-off).
The Kiwis and the Kangaroos have become familiar foes when silverware is on the line on the international stage.
They met in each of the last three Rugby League World Cup finals in 2000, 2008 and 2013 with the Kiwis breaking Australia’s stranglehold on the trophy in 2008.
They also clashed the Tri Nations finals in 1999, 2005 and 2006 as well as the Four Nations final in 2010. The only exceptions to the New Zealand-Australia final formula in the last 15 years were in the 2004 Tri Nations and 2009 and 2011 Four Nations deciders when Australia accounted for Great Britain (2004 and 2009 and England in 2011).
This will be the fourth Tri Nations or Four Nations final played in the southern hemisphere with the Kiwis and Kangaroos meeting every times.
The New Zealanders will be seeking their third Tri Nations or Four Nations title after beating Australia 24-0 in Leeds in 2005 and then16-12 at Suncorp Stadium in 2010.
The Kiwis advanced to this year’s final with three straight wins over Australia (30-12), Toa Samoa (14-12) and England (16-14) while the Kangaroos had to beat the Samoans today to avoid missing their first final since 1954.