7 Nov 2010

Kangaroos too clinical for Kiwis

1:20 am on 7 November 2010

Prop Adam Blair led a stirring new Kiwis haka but it was all the Kangaroos from the kick-off as the last Four Nations rugby league pool game went the way of the visitors, 34-20 at Eden Park on Saturday night.

Three tries in the first 20 minutes to halfback Cooper Cronk, winger Brett Morris and centre Brent Tate shifted the game Australia's way with just a Benji Marshall penalty in reply.

At 18-2 down the Kiwis came to life and dominated the second quarter, bench front rower Frank Pritchard bundling over with 11 minutes left in the half.

New Zealand blew a certain try when second rower Simon Mannering passed to a Kangaroo instead of going to ground near the line as some momentum was lost but the Kiwis kept the tourists pinned back and Marshall added another penalty for an 18-10 half-time deficit.

Again the Kangaroos started better with fullback Darius Boyd scoring on debut and Tate and Morris both crossing again.

Marshall almost conjured another try with a dart near the line but was ruled to have lost the ball when a two on one strip could as easily have been called, and while Kiwis winger Jason Nightingale got a try back, with 15 minutes on the clock and a 20-point gap on the scoreboard, the crowd of over 40,000 began to thin out.

Centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall scored a late consolation try to bring the scoreline some respectability.

The Kangaroos host the Kiwis in the tournament final next weekend.

In the earlier game on Saturday night, England ensured Papua New Guinea got the wooden spoon with a 36-10 drubbing. England led 24-0 at half-time.