Australian Kangaroos 12: (Beau Scott, Greg Inglis tries; Cameron Smith 2 goals)
New Zealand Kiwis 30: (Kevin Proctor, Lewis Brown, Shaun Johnson, Dean Whare, Jason Nightingale tries; Shaun Johnson 5 goals)
The Australian Kangaroos have fallen to a shock defeat in their opening Four Nations clash, going down 30-12 to a fast finishing New Zealand Kiwis at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
To make matters worse for the Australian side, Halfback Daly Cherry-Evans and Fullback Greg Inglis failed to finish the game after succumbing to injuries.
But it was their missed tackle count that will be the greatest concern for coach Tim Sheens, with a total of 42 added up throughout the game, allowing the New Zealand side to run rampant.
The game had started well for the Kangaroos, who put aside a stirring haka to open the scoring after just two minutes, Cronk cutting out decoy runner Sam Thaiday allowing receiver Beau Scott to slide over untouched.
The New Zealand side looked to respond, and should have hit back in the 13th minute when Kieran Foran put Jason Nightingale in to the corner unmarked, only for the winger to inexplicably lose the ball as he dived over.
Just three minutes later, Kiwi forward Kevin Proctor made amends for Nightingale’s mistake by carrying a number of defenders with him as he planted the ball on the line, the game locked up at six-all.
The Kangaroos then jumped ahead again, Greg Inglis catching some lazy goal line defenders off guard to dive over from dummy half in the 21st minute.
But Lewis Brown caught the Kangroos defenders napping just minutes later to again lock the game up. Brown scooped the ball up from dummy half, threw a dummy then ran through a hole leaving Australian players clutching at thin air.
Then in the 36th Minute, Cherry-Evans saw his night end, when simply shuffling sideways in defence saw the half pick up a lower back strain.
Neither side could gain the advantage before the break, leaving the scores at 12-all.
Greg Inglis became another Kangaroo casualty during the break, succumbing to the effects of a virus, with Dylan Walker shifted to fullback to cover for the kangaroo custodian.
Once play resumed however, it was all about New Zealand.
Half back Shaun Johnson opened the second half onslaught with some luck in the 47th minute. Johnson’s grubber kick ricocheted off defenders legs before he regathered and scored.
Two minutes later, a fantastic leap from Dean Whare saw the New Zealand centre claim the Foran cross-field chip and extend the lead to 24-12.
The Kiwi side looked to have scored again in the 56th minute through Gerard Beale, however the try was disallowed after Cooper Cronk had been interfered with in mid-air.
However they weren’t to be denied in the 68th minute of play, when a towering bomb was spilt at the back by Dylan Walker The error allowed the Kiwis to collect the scraps and shift the ball wide where Nightingale scored to give the side from across the Tasman a 30-12 victory.