Cameron Munster played through illness, Australia vs New Zealand, Kangaroos, Pacific Championships final

Cameron Munster played through illness, Australia vs New Zealand, Kangaroos, Pacific Championships final
Cameron Munster played through illness, Australia vs New Zealand, Kangaroos, Pacific Championships final

He may have spent last week battling the flu, but Kangaroos five-eighth Cameron Munster said he never considered missing the game against New Zealand in Melbourne because he feared former Storm teammate Nicho Hynes would come in and never let him win back the jersey.

Munster were isolated from most of their teammates last week and only had one proper hitout before Australia’s comfortable 36-18 win at AAMI Park.

The veteran five-eighth was granted an early mark with eight minutes remaining that allowed Hynes to shift from the roaming lock role into the halves where he laid on a try for Cameron Murray with the final play of the game.

Munster, who will play his 12th Test for Australia in the Pacific Championships final, retains his spot at five-eighth, while Hynes, who made his debut last week, drops back to 18th man duties.

Nicho Hynes had some nice touches in Australia’s win over New Zealand. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“It was always tough being sick, but if I gave the jersey up to Niche then I probably wouldn’t get it back,” Munster said.

“Mal (Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga) is all about loyalty, so if we keep winning then he won’t change the team.

“For me, I just needed to make sure I got out there. I’m not giving anyone the opportunity to get my jersey, that’s for sure.”

Munster came into the international season under an injury cloud due to a persistent knee infection that hampered him throughout the finals.

But pulling on a rep jersey has helped him forget about the aches and pains, with Munster chuffed to get to play alongside the likes of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, who had a breakout year for the Dolphins, Maroons and Kangaroos.

Cameron Munster was hampered by a knee infection throughout the NRL finals. Picture: Adam HeadSource: News Corp Australia

“It’s a pretty long season, but in saying that, as a kid you always wanted to play for Queensland – me being from Queensland – and you always wanted to play for your country,” he said.

“You can forget about all the battle wounds you’ve got and all the sore niggles you have. With the kind of names we’ve got in our team, it makes our jobs a lot easier in certain positions.

“When I’ve got ‘Hammer’, Cam Murray and Dylan Edwards outside me, I’m just happy to be in the team.”

The Kangaroos are short-priced favorites to clinch the Pacific Championships final in Hamilton on the back of their comfortable win last week, with powerhouse props Payne Haas and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui fresh after they were rested.

The Kiwis have lost three in a row against Australia but did beat them back in 2018 when they last played a Test in New Zealand.

“We can’t sit on our laurels and think that’s going to happen the same in New Zealand,” Munster said.

“We’re in their territory now and obviously (last week) was a little hiccup for them. We are expecting a lot better Kiwis team this weekend, that’s for sure.

“We played some good footy but we need to improve if we want to win this final.”

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Cameron Munster played illness Australia Zealand Kangaroos Pacific Championships final



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