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Key match-ups in the Four Nations final

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/11/2016

THE KEY MEN IN SUNDAY'S FOUR NATIONS FINAL BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND AT ANFIELD (0130 AEDT MONDAY)

JOHNATHAN THURSTON V SHAUN JOHNSON

Two of the finest playmakers in the games who are blessed with match-winning abilities. Thurston will be playing his last match on UK soil and is desperate to finish his fourth Kangaroos tour on a high. Johnson was almost the match-winner against against Australia at Coventry after being held up over the line in the final minute. Both players can expect special attention from two huge forward packs.

CAMERON SMITH V ISSAC LUKE

Smith will play his 33rd straight Test, two behind Clive Churchill's record of 35 in the list of most successive Australia appearances when he runs out in the green and gold for the 49th time at Anfield. Now aged 33, the skipper shows no signs of a decline in performances and is still the best dummy-half in the world. Luke had a below-par first year with the Warriors after leaving South Sydney, but has been back to his best in this tournament.

JASON TAUMALOLO V BOYD CORDNER

Taumalolo - the reigning joint Dally M Medal winner - will need to be at his rampaging best for the Kiwis if they are to win and will be a huge test for Australia up the middle. But in Cordner the Kangaroos have a special talent of their own, who is strong in defence, sharp in attack and a ferocious tackler with an eye for the tryline. Has shaken off a bout of gastro to be fit to play this final.

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