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Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 17:04 UK

Australia defeat New Zealand 12-8 in Anzac Test

Brett Morris
Morris scores one of his two tries for the Kangaroos

Winger Brett Morris scored a try in each half as Australia beat New Zealand 12-8 in the annual Anzac Test.

Jamie Lyon put the Kangaroos ahead with a penalty before Morris touched down to make it 6-0 in the 39th minute.

The 22-year-old scored his second try on 47 minutes after a superb pass by man of the match Sam Thaiday, while Lyon's second goal made it 12-0.

The Kiwis scored two late tries, but failed conversion attempts by Isaac Luke meant they fell short.

Jason Nightingale took Lance Hohaia's cut-out pass to open the scoring for the Kiwis on 67 minutes, and when centre Junior Sau touched down with a minute to play, the visitors were close to an unlikely comeback.

However, Luke's second conversion miss meant it was too little to late for New Zealand, as Morris, the leading try scorer in the 2009 Four Nations series, proved the decisive factor in the match.

The Anzac Test is an annual match played within a few days of Anzac Day (25 April) - the commemoration of the first major military action by Australian and New Zealand forces in World War One.


Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer, playing in his record-extending 51st Test, conceded that his side - who lost influential hooker Cameron Smith to injury in the 28th minute - had been made to work for their win.

The match took place in driving rain at Melbourne's newly built AAMI Park.

"The conditions meant we had to play a bit more conservatively but the Kiwis didn't drop much ball and made it hard work for us," said Lockyer.

Kiwis captain Benji Marshall was proud of his players' efforts and stated: "They had us under the pump with their kick-chase but we hung in there. It was a good all-round effort."

The new England coach Steve McNamara, was impressed by the defensive efforts of the both sides - whom England will face in the Four Nations later this year, along with Pacific Cup winners Papua New Guinea.

"We are going to have to play well for 80 minutes to compete and we're going to have to have some smart plays to break down two very tight defences," said McNamara.

"The conditions made it difficult but they found it hard to break each other down," McNamara added.

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see also
Kiwis delighted by World Cup win
22 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Australia 20-34 New Zealand
22 Nov 08 |  Rugby League

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