27 Oct 2008

Big gap between Kiwis and Kangaroos in opening Cup game

7:07 am on 27 October 2008

Kangaroos halfback Johnathan Thurston cast aside his personal family tragedy to lead Australia to a 30-6 victory over New Zealand in their rugby league World Cup opener in Sydney.

Only a day after his uncle Richard Saunders was bashed to death in a park south of Brisbane, Thurston produced one of his most composed efforts in a Kangaroos jumper with a hand in three of Australia's five tries.

Thurston also booted four goals and directed their attacking play in a brilliant performance worthy of man-of-the-match honours.

An inept performance from the Kiwis had the 34,157 fans resorting to Mexican waves after an hour.