NZ aim to stop Jillaroos' three-peat bid

New Zealand will draw on an underdog mentality and the inspiration of their nation's recent success in rugby union in a bid to upset the Jillaroos in the Rugby League World Cup final.

The Kiwi Ferns enter Saturday's (Sunday AEDT) final at Old Trafford knowing they haven't beaten Australia since 2016.

The Jillaroos edged the New Zealanders in the group stages with a 10-8 win and are aiming to win a third-straight title.

The Kiwi Ferns have been buoyed by their nation taking out the 15-a-side women's World Cup last weekend and would love nothing more than to bring the league equivalent home.

"It is amazing, we were so proud of them, it's a huge boost for women's sport," New Zealand forward Brianna Clark told AAP.

"Whatever sport it is - soccer, rugby union or league it is great to see them get the recognition.

"We were up with coffees first thing in the morning to watch them win.

"I feel we have been underestimated by the commentators who've been saying Australia would beat us 50-0.

"We've given nobody any reason to believe that. We have built slowly through this tournament and we shouldn't be underestimated."

New Zealand have been battle hardened throughout this tournament, edging hosts England 20-6 to get to the final.

Their destructive right edge of back-rower Amber Hall and centre Mele Hufanga has been a standout at this competition and looks set to pose Australia more problems in the final.

"I felt like I had run into a brick wall," said Jillaroos centre Isabelle Kelly.

"I've played with a lot of those girls and always give credit to the Kiwis, you can't take a backwards step with them because they are so powerful.

"We were proud of our edge for not letting them in."

Kelly is one of the few survivors from the 2017 final, along with Kezie Apps, Simaima Taufa and Ali Brigginshaw.

That trio have been the faces of the women's game since the introduction of the NRLW.

For the 31-year-old Apps it could be her last chance to win honours on the world stage ahead of the next World Cup in France.

"Who knows what is going to happen between now and then," Apps said.

"I'm not too sure about the old girls like myself, (we) could be still kicking on in three years.

"I still love it, the investment is there for a women's game, it is growing and it is amazing to be a part of."