Australian Kangaroos 12
Tries: Sam Thaiday and Will Chambers
Goals: x2 Johnathan Thurston
Penalty Goals: 0
New Zealand Kiwis 26
Tries: Manu Vatuvei x2, Shaun Johnson and Shaun Kenny Dowall
Goals: x3 Shaun Johnson
Penalty Goals: x2 Shaun Johnson
The New Zealand Kiwis beat the Australian Kangaroos in the ANZAC test, 26-12, on Sunday afternoon.
Determination allowed New Zealand to beat Australia for the third time in a row for the first time since 1953 at Suncorp Stadium. After an extra 48 hours of preparation, the Kiwis seemed to handle the pressure better.
The Kiwis were first to put points on the board as Johnson converted a penalty goal in the 7th minute of play. This allowed New Zealand to gain momentum and get in front early.
Australia came back as Sam Thaiday scored the first try of the game which was a positive sign for the team. Unfortunately Australia were not able to hold on to the lead for much longer as Manu Vatuvei was unstoppable.
Peta Hiku stepped up for the Kiwis after his brilliant pass found Manu Vatuvei and Vatuvei did not let his teammates down, scoring his second try of the night, taking New Zealand to a 12-6 lead. Shaun Johnson was also a stand out player for his team as the halfback executed great runs, tackles and side steps which allowed him to go over the line to score a try himself.
Australia lacked direction, momentum, motivation and determination. They looked flat and no players were attempting to create anything with the ball.The Kangaroos also forced many errors with countless knock ons and poor passages of play. They continuously struggled to break through the Kiwi’s excellent defence line.
A highlight of the second half for the Australian side was when Will Chambers, the 800th man to play for Australia, scored his first try on debut. His power and determination was definitely illustrated when he quickly but effectively put down the ball over the line.
In the 68th minute, Josh Dugan and Greg Eastwood were involved in an ugly collision. Eastwood slipped, unintentionally hitting into Dugan’s knee head first, resulting in Dugan injuring his knee due to the heavy knock. Both players were assisted off the field and had finished for the day.
It was disappointing to see Dugan, Jennings and Inglis try and attempt to do everything themselves without utilising other key players such as Alex Johnstone who has great strength and agility.
Shaun Johnson and Manu Vatuvei were the stand out players, lifting their side to victory.
Gerard Sutton also did a fantastic job, refereeing himself with the help of the video ref but making majority of the excellent calls on his own.
Nothing But League Player of the Match: Manu Vatuvei