27 Nov 2013

Cleary positive about injured Kiwis' chances

6:16 am on 27 November 2013

Australia have had a far easier build-up to Sunday's Rugby League World Cup final against the holders New Zealand - but the Kiwis assistant coach isn't sure that's going to be helpful to the Kangaroos.

The Kiwis needed a last-gasp converted try to get past England in Sunday's bruising semi-final at Wembley, and the team's nursing several injuries - while Australia romped home against Fiji.

Assistant Kiwis coach Ivan Cleary's not sure he'd rather have the Kangaroos build-up though. Cleary says while the tough game against England will be helpful to his team, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other as to whether the Australians' smoother lead-in to the final will help them.

But Cleary says hopefully their more intense semi-final will put them in good stead.

Manu Vatuvei appears to be recovering well - however fellow wing Roger Tuivasa-Scheck and prop Frank Pritchard didn't train fully, and all three face fitness tests before they can play in the final.