Price out - Kite to starting side & Perry in? http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/11/21/sports/RGL-WCup-Australia-New-Zealand.php Australia favored to win World Cup final The Associated Press Published: November 21, 2008 BRISBANE, Australia: Australia is a hot favorite to claim its seventh consecutive World Cup title despite losing key player Steve Price to injury on the eve of Saturday's final against New Zealand. Price, a veteran prop who plays for the New Zealand-based Warriors in Australia's National Rugby League competition, was ruled out Friday after injuring his left calf in training. A replacement was expected to be announced on match day, with prop Brent Kite of NRL champions Manly the leading contender to move into the starting pack. A relentless ball carrier and defender, Price's agility will be missed in the Australian forwards but history and form favors the Kangaroos, who have won all 13 rugby league World Cup matches against New Zealand and are on an eight-game winning streak against the Kiwis. The Australians will also be without Brent Tate, Price's brother-in-law and teammate at the Warriors, after the utility back injured a hip and was replaced on the wing by Manly's David Williams. The Australian squad is not the only thing under a cloud for the match, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a severe storm for Brisbane on Saturday night. Storms approaching cyclone strength tore through Brisbane on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week, causing widespread flash flooding, electrical blackouts and damage to hundreds of houses. Queensland state premier Anna Bligh on Friday advised fans heading to the sold-out 52,500-seat stadium that there could be disruptions to the World Cup program. "Until we see the size and nature of any storm activity tomorrow, people should assume the event is going ahead, but we won't be putting public safety at risk," Bligh said. "If the storms are very severe then we will have to reassess that." New Zealand captain Nathan Cayless was less concerned with the weather than making up for a 30-6 loss to Australia in the tournament's opening match. The New Zealanders rallied from that loss with a big win over Papua New Guinea followed by back-to-back victories over England: in the last group match when they came back from a big deficit to win with five unanswered tries, and the semifinals. "We felt like we didn't play anywhere near our ability in that first game and we've given ourselves a chance now ... it's just up to us to do it out on the field," Cayless said. "We've spoken a lot this week about not having any regrets after the match, just making sure we leave everything out there on the field. "I'm not too sure if a lot of us will get another opportunity to play in another World Cup final Ã¢Â€Â” it's been eight years since the last one and who knows when the next one will be?" Cayless is the only survivor of the New Zealand team which lost the 2000 World Cup final 40-12 to Australia. His opposing captain Darren Lockyer is the only Australian player returning from that match. Lockyer has guided the Kangaroos' dominant run through the tournament so far, with the defending champions scoring 180 points in four matches and conceding just 16.