Broncos connection clicks to bury the Kiwi’s
The Kangaroos put the cleaners through the Kiwis last night – as they put on five tries to one to give New Zealand a 24-point lesson in the Anzac Test match.
Leading 6-0 at the break, the Kangaroos came out firing in the second period as halves combination Johnathan Thurston and Darren Lockyer engineered a lively attacking display to finish off the tiring Kiwis 30-6.
Melbourne Storm centre Matt King, playing out on the Kangaroos wing, scooped up the football after Kiwis number seven Ben Roberts spilt a high bomb from Lockyer to score seven minutes into the second half, before Brent Tate (52nd minute), and Karmichael Hunt (76) shot the Kangaroos out to an unassailable 24-6 lead.
Tate, close to best on ground, then finished off the evening with a brilliant break on the right-hand edge before putting in a cheeky in-field kick to find skipper and Broncos team-mate Lockyer at the try-line as the champion five-eighth put the finishing touches on a dominant performance from Australia.
New Zealand managed to score a consolation try when Manu Vatuvei pounced on a grubber from Simon Mannering on the left-hand edge in the 68th minute, but it was little more than academic as the Kangaroos coasted to victory.
Earlier, tireless back rower Nathan Hindmarsh burst onto a sublimely-timed short-ball from Thurston in the 19th minute to score the only try of the half, with Thurston’s conversion making it 6-0.
Thurston took the ball to the line on the fifth play and passed selectively from a host of options to pick up Hindmarsh running back towards the ruck on a dangerous angle, before the Parramatta Eels big man crashed over to score close to the goal-posts.
Thurston shot at goal in the final minute of the first half after Australia were awarded a penalty for a high shot on Lockyer, but his effort drifted short and wide of the goal-posts.
The Kiwis muscled up early with a hammering tackle to flatten Broncos full-back Hunt on his first ball-carry, with Penrith back rower Tony Puletua in the thick of the action in the opening sets.
Man-of-the-match Hunt starred for the Kangaroos with a crafty all-round performance combining strength and footwork from the back with his sharp playmaking ability in combination with Lockyer threatening the New Zealand defence on numerous occasions.
Hunt’s opposite, one-game Parramatta custodian Krisnan Inu, was tested heavily by Australia’s kicking raids but stood up to the challenge consistently and demonstrated plenty of courage, taking a horrendous high ball from Lockyer under pressure with aplomb.
Bulldogs team-mates Willie Mason and Sonny Bill Williams were involved in a minor scuffle as tempers flared in the opening period but the incident was nothing more than a friendly exchange.
New Zealand were imposing in defence and drove the ball forward with plenty of purpose and passion, but were ultimately outclassed by Australia’s superior attacking ability.
The Kiwis had numerous opportunities to hit back with dynamic five-eighth Benji Marshall an ever-present for his side, but poor handling cost them dearly close to the try-line as they were stymied time and time again by the Kangaroos.
Australia 30 (N Hindmarsh, M King, B Tate, K Hunt, D Lockyer tries; J Thurston 5 conversions)
New Zealand 6 (M Vatuvei try; B Marshall conversion)