Kangaroos consider conspiracy theories - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kangaroos consider conspiracy theories

By Steve Jancetic 29/10/2009 09:31:48 PM Comments (0)

Australia are fearing an ambush from their Four Nations rivals with winger Jarryd Hayne claiming England could deliberately lose to New Zealand next weekend if it meant avoiding the Kangaroos in the Elland Road final.

While Australia still have their destiny in their own hands with wins in their next two matches assuring them of a berth in the final, Hayne lit the fuse for what promises to be a fiery clash with England on Saturday by suggesting they throw their last preliminary game against the Kiwis.

Should the Kangaroos lose to England in Wigan on Saturday, New Zealand would qualify for a November 14 final against the host nation with wins over France in Toulouse and England next weekend.

"It is a must-win," Hayne said.

"If we lose this, I'm sure the Poms aren't going to beat the Kiwis so they can play us in the final.

"They're going to want to be beaten by the Kiwis so they can play them the week after.

"It's a must-win. We lose this game we're out of the final."

The suggestion was sternly rebutted by the England camp.

Asked whether it was insult to intimate his side would deliberately lose a Test match, veteran prop Adrian Morley said:

"Yeah, I think so.

"Every Test match I can guarantee we're going to play for the win. I think it's being a little bit cynical.

"I can guarantee we don't go in with that mentality. I don't know where he's coming from there."

With a win over Australia guaranteeing England a spot in the final, it could well be that coach Tony Smith opts to play a weakened side against the Kiwis to guard against injuries and ensure each member of his squad has had a run before the final.

Of course Australia can quash all the conspiracy theories with a victory on Saturday, with that result and a likely win over underdogs France in their last game setting up a virtual semi-final between England and New Zealand in Huddersfield on Saturday week.

While much of Australia's build-up to this week's game has centred on the changes made to the forward pack, the backs haven't escaped unscathed from the 20-all draw with the Kiwis.

Coach Tim Sheens has revealed he has come up with an altered gameplan to get the likes of Hayne and fullback Billy Slater more involved against the English, with the video review of the Kiwi game not making for pleasant viewing.

"It went for a long time because we did a lot of bad things," Hayne said.

"The backs had to stay behind and do a little bit extra. We lacked in attack and it's something everyone's going to be talking about."

Asked about his limited opportunities on the wing, Hayne said:

"I don't think anyone would be happy to not get the ball.

"We haven't played together for a while and we were just a bit rusty.

"What we'll do is what he (Sheens) sees fit.

"The main thing was our defence - that's our main worry, stopping them.

"Our attack will come the more we play together."

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