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Thurston's Four Nations pain

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/10/2016 James MacSmith

For once Johnathan Thurston could do nothing.

All the superstar playmaker could do was sit back and watch as Australia lost their Four Nations title to New Zealand in 2014 and relinquished the World No.1 ranking.

A shoulder injury forced Thurston out of that Four Nations tournament and the North Queensland captain is determined to make up for that when the tournament resumes in Britain at the end of the week.

It has been a challenging two years for an Australian side not accustomed to losing.

New coach Mal Meninga has spearheaded the move to recapture the Kangaroos' almost invincible culture.

But also motivating that search is the 22-18 loss to the Kiwis in the Four Nations final in Wellington two years ago.

"It was very, very tough to watch," Thurston said.

"I remember watching it all, just sitting there. It was very frustrating being at home miles and miles away and not being able to help.

"It was a tough time. It hurt. But it is gone now and we have to chance to make up for it."

After enjoying a convincing 26-6 win over New Zealand in Perth two weeks ago, the Kangaroos appear on track to regain their Four Nations crown.

However Thurston knows New Zealand will only improve under new coach David Kidwell.

"The Kiwis have been playing some really good footy over the past few years and that is why they are No.1," Thurston said.

"But hopefully we can get that back."

Due to the complicated nature of the world rankings system Australia will need to enjoy similarly big wins over opponents Scotland, New Zealand and England in the weeks ahead to once again be regarded as rugby league's premier nation.

"I'm not too sure how it works," Thurston said

"But we want to win the Four Nations. That is the way we think.

"We prepare to be the best and hopefully when we win the Four Nations we can get that No.1 ranking back

"But we know it is not going to be easy."

Australia's Four Nations campaign begins against Scotland in Hull on Saturday.

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