Ferns inspired by Nines wake-up call
The Kiwi Ferns believe the Australian Jillaroos delivered them a timely gift by whitewashing them 3-0 in their Test series at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines earlier this year.
Ahead of Friday's Test at GIO Stadium in Canberra, New Zealand acknowledged the comprehensive defeat at the Nines was the kick they needed and have vowed to lift to Australia's standards.
"It was a wake-up call and in hindsight we probably really needed to prepare a lot better than we did for a series against a team like the Jillaroos," Kiwi Ferns captain Sarina Fiso told NRL.com.
"If you are not confident in your preparation then you aren't going to come away with the result.
"All credit to the Jillaroos who did really well at the Nines, but we know we need to up our game and we have definitely done that, we have done our homework and are ready."
Since losing the 2013 Rugby League World Cup final to the Jillaroos, the Kiwi Ferns have won two of their three Tests against Australia, while winning four out of six Nines clashes prior to this year.
There is a culture of success within the team and an expectation to get results, which made the series defeat at the Nines on home soil even tougher to stomach.
New head coach Tony Benson said the mood among the playing group was negative when he initially took over in March this year, but believed it would serve as fuel for his side on Friday.
"Morale was very low to an extent, but that experience was also motivating for them because they are winners and they don't want to let that happen again," Benson said.
"They felt it was unacceptable for their families, themselves and the Kiwi Ferns before them to have to see something like that.
"That has motivated them pretty well for this match. Sometimes you need that kick, and I can feel a really strong urge to do much better than they did last time.
"I am pretty confident they are motivated to be a lot better than they were."
The Jillaroos v Kiwi Ferns match kicks off at 5:25pm AEDT, and will be followed by the Kangaroos v Kiwis match on the same ground.