?We?re underdogs? says rookie Kiwi

New Zealand coach Brian McClennan claims his Kiwis are underdogs to end Australia's three decades of dominance in Saturday night's Tri Nations rugby league final at Elland Road.

As the guessing game of Stacey Jones' availability continues, McClennan was at pains to talk up the Kangaroos today, declaring they'd hit form and the job facing his players, who'd gone off the boil, was "scary". But McClennan's words rather overlooked the fact that the Kiwis beat Australia convincingly in Sydney the opening game of the series and only went down by two points in their second encounter in Auckland.

McClennan is hoping to know by late tomorrow (Wednesday AEDT) if champion halfback Jones, the team's playmaker, will return for the final after flying home to Auckland at the weekend to be with his wife Rochelle, who is expecting their baby.