No friendships as Klemmer prepares

admin | 杭州桑拿
7 Jun 2019

After becoming embroiled in a pushing match with fellow Canterbury prop James Graham in his Test debut for Australia against England last weekend, David Klemmer has made it clear that friendships will count for nothing when he comes up against teammates Frank Pritchard, Tim Lafai and Reni Maitua in Sunday’s Four Nations clash with Samoa at WIN Stadium.

Klemmer, who has a pre-match superstition requiring him to get off the team bus last, managed to get under Graham’s skin after rubbing the England prop on the head following Greg Inglis’ match-winning try in the 64th minute of Australia’s 16-12 win at AAMI Park last Sunday.

The England prop responded by pushing Klemmer, and referee Gerard Sutton had to separate the pair.

“I loved it,” Klemmer said. “We got stuck into each other a bit but we are both competitive blokes and whatever happens on the field stays on the field.

“The play before, he rushed up and got me in the ribs but on the next play he didn’t get back in the line and he missed the tackle that led to the try, so I rubbed him on the head and said ‘thanks for that’.

“There was a bit of push and shove. He was surprised it was me who rubbed him on the head. I always rub his head at training and he doesn’t like it.”

That incident showed that Klemmer is prepared to do whatever it takes to help the Kangaroos avoid the ignomy of becoming the first Australian team to miss a tournament decider since 1954, and he has already identified Pritchard and Lafai as danger men in the Samoa team.

“It is every kid’s dream to be playing for Australia, so when I got the call-up I took it with both hands,” Klemmer said. “But if we lose here Samoa can go to the final. It is all in the points system, so they are going to come out firing and we have got to do the job on them.

“They are a good team, I reckon they should have won both of their games, so it is going to be a very tough game this week.

“They have good go-forward with David Fa’alongo and Frank and they have some big boys in their outside backs like Joey Leilua, Antonio Winterstein and David Vidot running off the back of that, so we have to stop that. Timmy Lafai is very, very good at that too.”

Asked about his insistence to get off the bus last before last Sunday’s Test in Melbourne, Klemmer said: “Once something works for me I just stick with it.

“I am very superstitous about some things. I have to get off the team bus last, I wear the same undies every week, and I put my left boot on first. I am a bit of a weirdo like that.”

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