Kangaroos braced for boos in RLWC final

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Comparing his side's all-conquering campaign to the All Blacks, Australia winger Valentine Holmes says the Kangaroos can expect to be the pantomime villains in their Rugby League World Cup final meeting with Samoa.

England's 27-26 defeat at the hands of the Samoans gives the Pacific nation the chance to do what many had thought unthinkable and knock off the Kangaroos on the biggest stage of all.

Many England fans bought tickets well in advance for the final at Old Trafford on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) in the belief their side would get there.

Instead, they will now be cheering for Samoa - the first new nation into a World Cup final in 34 years.

Australia games have been poorly attended at this tournament but in their semi-final win over New Zealand in front of a near 30,000-strong crowd at Elland Road in Leeds, the Kangaroos were booed incessantly.

Holmes said they expect similar treatment in the final because of the team's aura and reputation. 

"It's something we spoke about and we knew we were coming in, not as underdogs, but fans know we are a world-class team," Holmes said.

"They want to see us lose.

"I guess you could say the same about the All Blacks. Everyone tries to beat them and it's the same for us."

The Kangaroos have been beaten just twice since 2015 and have not lost a tour or a tournament in the UK since 2005.

Forward Cameron Murray said his teammates viewed the hostile reception as a mark of respect.

"That was a little warm-up for what we are going to hear this week," he said, reflecting on the New Zealand game.

"It (booing) is alright, we embrace that, we take it as a compliment.

"Everyone backs the underdogs and we know we are the favourites.

"We'll go in with humble confidence and make sure that we are practising in the areas we know we need to fix up."


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