This article first appeared on NRL.com and is used by permission.
HE could have been preparing to face England or even Samoa in a Four Nations final this week, but veteran New Zealand back-rower Adam Blair says he's happy the world champion Kangaroos are the Kiwis' opponents for Saturday's tournament decider.
All four teams were still in the running to make the final heading into last weekend's matches, but Blair said he was happy Australia is the team that now stands between New Zealand and Four Nations glory.
"You always want to play the best. You know you're in for a big match-up then.
"They are coming in off the back of some good footy and watching them [play Samoa] they played really well, said Blair.
"They're gelling a lot better than they were in the first game and obviously we're up for a massive Test match.
"We both want to win the game and we both have everything to play for so we just have to turn up with the right attitude and play some good footy."
Blair's Wests Tigers and Kiwis teammate Martin Taupau also was looking forward to taking on Australia again after their convincing 30-12 win over the Kangaroos three weeks ago.
"We know what we're capable of and we know what we have to do to come away with a win. We'll stick to what we've been doing the last few weeks and go into Saturday ready," Taupau said. "I'm glad [we play Australia]. Everyone is looking forward to the opportunity.
"We'll just do what we normally do. There's no need to do change anything. We'll just go in and play as hard as we can."
Australia bounced back from that first-up 18-point defeat with a tight victory over England and an impressive rout of Samoa, but Blair insists the undefeated Kiwis can lift to another level when it counts.
"I'm confident with what we have done so far but [we have only played] three games," Blair said. "If we go out there and do what we have done in this tournament, and a little bit extra, I'm confident we can go out there and win."
New Zealand will take on Australia this Saturday, November 15 at Westpac Stadium.