Kezie Apps of the Jillaroos is tackled by Nora Maaka (left) and Teuila Fotu-Moala of the Kiwi Ferns during last year's trans-Tasman Test.
Kezie Apps of the Jillaroos is tackled by Nora Maaka (left) and Teuila Fotu-Moala of the Kiwi Ferns during last year's trans-Tasman Test. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Jillaroos confident of ending Nines hoodoo

RUGBY LEAGUE: League star Kezie Apps believes the time is right for the Jillaroos to end their losing run at the Auckland Nines.

The State of Origin star - who won the women's Player of the Year at the Brad Fittler Awards, which recognise achievement in all NSWRL teams - says the Jillaroos have a new coach, a new attitude and a new will to win in Auckland this weekend.

Jillaroos coach Brad Donald has chosen Nines-specific players for the three matches against the Kiwi Ferns on Saturday and Sunday.

"There's a really good feeling in the squad," said NSW second-rower Apps.

"Things are different as well. The first two years we played over there we really didn't have any idea of what to expect.

"This year will be totally different. We know what we have to do to win. We do have a confidence and we know we have to have a good attitude going in.

"We also have more specialist girls this time, fitter and quicker and more agile."

The Jillaroos have fallen to the Kiwi Ferns 2-1 in their past two encounters at the Auckland Nines.

Apps and her teammates will attempt to reverse the trend when they take on their New Zealand rivals in one game on Saturday and two on Sunday.

"It's an important win to get because it's a World Cup year," Apps said. "It would be a great way to start the year off."

News Corp Australia

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