Even though Australia rested several big names they still had enough to take the victory over New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland in a preview of next weekend’s Four Nations final.
Early tries by Cooper Cronk, Brett Morris and Brent Tate put the visitors 18-2 up before Frank Pritchard pulled a try back to give us the half-time score of 10-18.
Further tries by Darius Boyd, Morris and Chris Lawrence put Australia in total control of the match. But late tries by Jason Nightingale and Shaun Kenny-Dowall restored Kiwi pride and made the contest look more even. Final score:
New Zealand 20-34 Australia
Tries: Pritchard, Nightingale, Kenny-Dowall Goals: Marshall (4)
Tries: Boyd, Lawrence, Morris (2), Cronk, Tate Goals: Carney (2), Smith (3)
New Zealand: Lance Hohaia, Jason Nightingale, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Junior Sa’u, Sam Perrett, Benji Marshall (cpt), Nathan Fien, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Thomas Leuluai, Adam Blair, Sika Manu, Simon Mannering, Jeremy Smith.
Subs: Issac Luke, Greg Eastwood, Frank Pritchard, Ben Matulino, Bronson Harrison.
Australia: Darius Boyd, Brett Morris, Brent Tate, Chris Lawrence, Lote Tuqiri, Todd Carney, Cooper Cronk, Matthew Scott, Cameron Smith (cpt), David Shillington, Greg Bird, Sam Thaiday, Paul Gallen.
Subs: Dean Young, Petero Civoniceva, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Robbie Farah, Kurt Gidley.