Rugby League World Cup: Sam Thaiday determined to avenge 2008 final defeat
Australia forward Sam Thaiday is hoping to bury the memory of their 2008 World Cup heartache on Saturday.
Last Updated: 26/11/13 2:12pm
The Kangaroos take on New Zealand in the final at Old Trafford, hoping to avenge their shock defeat five years ago.
There will be five survivors from that match in the squad this weekend - though Thaiday's heartbreak came a game earlier in the semi-final when he was injured.
"I got injured in the semi-final and I was out for six weeks after that," the 28-year-old said.
"I stayed at home and watched it on TV with a few friends and family. I felt for the boys, seeing the disappointment and heartache on their faces.
"Who knows? I'm getting older and I don't know if my form will stay around forever, so this could be my last World Cup.
"The opportunity might not come around again, so I've got to make sure I do everything on Saturday to try and win one."
"The Kiwis show continually that you can't rule them out," he said. "You can't say they're done and dusted, they showed that at the weekend against England.
"We watched the first half in the sheds before switching the telly off. We got continual updates from different players who were in the stands watching and there was a stage where we thought we'd be playing England this weekend.
"We're going to have to make sure we have an 80-minute effort, to that last whistle and beyond if we have to."
Thaiday, who succeeded Darren Lockyer as captain of Brisbane Broncos two years ago, knows his side must contain the threat of Sydney Roosters forward Sonny Bill Williams but will be happy to leave that particular task to his second-row partner Greg Bird.
"I'm sure he's going to be a challenge for us," Thaiday added. "I'm on the other side of the field, thank you. Hopefully he stays over that side!
"At Brisbane we only played them once and that was in round three when I think Sonny was trying to find his feet.
"To watch his form throughout the year, he's only built and got better, got more confidence and he's done that over here in the World Cup as well.
"He brings a professionalism and intensity, a confidence to a team. I think they've always had a talented team but sure he's going to be their leader on the field in a physical way and in a spiritual way off the field.
"We've been working really hard over the last few weeks on our defence as a team. We were very disappointed in the way that we started. England jumped out to a 10-0 lead against us. After that we had to focus on our defence."