A last-minute try from Nathan Fien gave New Zealand a dramatic victory over Australia in the Four Nations final in Brisbane. The Kiwis trailed for much of the game, and were 12-6 behind with 10 minutes to go before tries from Jason Nightingale and Fien turned the match on its head.
Brent Tate’s try had given Australia an early lead, but Shaun Kenny-Dowall brought it level late in the first half. 6-6 half-time.
Billy Slater’s try looked to have won it for Australia before the late Kiwi revival and Nightingale and Fien’s tries.
Following the Kangaroos’ 34-20 victory over the Kiwis a week ago, few had given Stephen Kearney’s side much hope of repeating their 2008 World Cup final success or 2005 Tri-Nations triumph over the same opponents. However, a determined New Zealand side, coupled with injuries reducing Australia to only two replacements for the entirety of the second half enabled them to achieve a superb victory.
Australia 12-16 New Zealand
Tries: Tate, Slater Goals: Smith 2
Tries: Kenny-Dowall, Nightingale, Fien Goals: Marshall 2
Australia: Slater, Morris, Tate, Tonga, Tuqiri, Lockyer, Cronk, Scott, Smith, Shillington, Lewis, Thaiday, Gallen.
Replacements: Learoyd-Lahrs, Bird, Gidley, Myles.
New Zealand: Hohaia, Nightingale, Kenny-Dowall, Mannering, Perrett, Marshall, Fien, McKendry, Leuluai, Blair, Harrison, Matulino, Smith.
Replacements: Eastwood, Luke, Nuuausala, Manu.