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Key match ups for Kangaroos v Kiwis

A look at the key match ups which will decide Saturday's Australia v New Zealand rugby league Test.

Key match ups for Kangaroos v Kiwis

A look at the key match ups which will decide Saturday's Australia v New Zealand rugby league Test.

LATRELL MITCHELL of the Roosters scores a try during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
LATRELL MITCHELL of the Roosters scores a try during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

FIVE KEY MATCH UPS FOR SATURDAY'S AUSTRALIA V NEW ZEALAND TEST

* Joseph Manu v Latrell Mitchell


Fresh of winning an NRL title together, these Sydney Roosters wrecking balls will come up against each other for the first time. Mitchell has proved himself a bona fide superstar this year with NSW and the Tri-Colours. While his Roosters centre partner had an outstanding finals series. Particularly defensively - case in point the bodyguard role he played alongside Cooper Cronk in the grand final.

* Brandon Smith v Damien Cook

With all due respects to Smith, he is probably the Kiwis' fourth choice hooker. Due to injury, he gets a Test call up despite only playing limited minutes there behind Cameron Smith at Melbourne. Cook comes into the Australian No.9 jumper which Smith has had a mortgage on for more than a decade. If he gets a little bit of room, look for him to take off.

* Shaun Johnson v Luke Keary

There is a heap of pressure on Johnson, and the Kangaroos will know to target him. He'll be made to do a lot of the Kiwis' kicking and playmaking. Keary has capped a remarkable month by being given his first Test jumper after Cameron Munster's withdrawal. He's never played with Daly Cherry-Evans but his Clive Churchill Medal performance proved he can run any side.

* Jesse Bromwich and Jared Warea-Hargreaves v David Klemmer and Jordan McLean

Make no mistakes, this one will be won in the middle. The Kiwis have a new-look side but if they can go toe-to-toe, they can pull off the unlikely. Warea-Hargreaves has been accused of not replicating his club form at rep level. He was a cornerstone of the Roosters' grand final win and he'll be out to prove his doubters wrong again.

* Jordan Rapana v Valentine Holmes

For all of Rapana's brilliance, his defence is questionable. He is part of Canberra's right-edge combination which leaked more points this year than any other right edge. And if there's holes to be exploited, Holmes will take advantage of them. He ran rings around the opposition in last year's World Cup. The prospect of him running off Latrell Mitchell is just scary.

AAP


AAP




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