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New Zealand 76-12 Papua New Guinea

New Zealand (46) 76
Tries: Perrett (3), Mannering, Smith (2), Sa'u (3), Hohaia, Waerea-Hargreaves, Luke, Nightingale, Manu. Goals: Marshall (8), Luke (2)
PNG: (0) 12
Yere, Nami. Goals: Tongia (2)

New Zealand score a try

Highlights - New Zealand 76-12 Papua New Guinea

New Zealand moved to the top of the Four Nations table with an emphatic win over an outclassed Papua New Guinea.

The Kiwis dominated the first half in Rotorua, running in eight tries to lead 46-0 at the hooter, before Menzie Yere and Glen Nami crossed for the Kumuls.

But three-quarters Junior Sa'u and Sam Perrett both completed hat-tricks as the home side took their try tally to 14 and moved a step nearer the final.

England face Australia on Sunday in the second match of the weekend.

"It was a good result," said New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney. "Our forwards were outstanding and the wingers were strong. It was a pretty solid effort.

"We were a bit disappointed last week [in the 24-10 defeat of England] and I think we've taken some steps to improving. there are still some things we need to work on for next week [against Australia].

NZ coach targets improvement despite big win

"I thought PNG dug deep and those two tries were like winning the World Cup for them back home."

The Kiwis broke the deadlock after just four minutes when Lance Hohaia spun out of a tackle before his sweeping pass exposed the visitors in the corner as Perrett crossed.

The Kiwis again profited from a left-veering attack, as Simon Mannering forced his way over before Jeremy Smith touched down twice in quick succession.

An astute Benji Marshall kick looked to have set up Nathan Fien for another four points but the St George Illawarra half-back was correctly ruled offside.

There was no respite for PNG, who lacked the size to trouble the Kiwis in the ruck, while their indiscipline in ball retention confounded their problems.

A low Fien's kick unlocked the Kumuls' defence and Sa'u raced through to apply the telling touch.

A rare attacking spell from PNG almost yielded a try but Jessie Joe Parker's touchdown was ruled to have crossed the end line.

The onslaught resumed at the other end, when Hohaia sold a dummy before releasing Sa'u for another try, while a superb offload from Jared Waerea-Hargreaves allowed full-back Greg Eastwood to cross.

David Loko tackles Issac Luke
New Zealand scored six tries in the second half as their opponents tired

Slack tackling was again evident as Issac Luke went over and captain Benji Marhsall landed his seventh goal to put the Kiws in front 46-0 at the break - surpassing Australia's 42-0 full-time score against PNG in Sydney last Sunday.

Within five minutes of the restart, Sa'u had his hat-trick - first, finishing off another fluid movement in the corner and then dancing through the tackles to race over as New Zealand again took advantage of the opposition's short condensed line.

The procession continued when Sa'u resisted the temptation to cross for a fourth, instead releasing to give Perrett his second.

Yere, one of the Kumuls' more solid defensive performers on the day, prompted the loudest cheer from the crowd when he stepped inside to wrong-foot the Kiwis' rearguard and, finally, get his team on the scoreboard.

Seemingly spurred on by that breakthrough, Papua New Guinea again put New Zealand on the backfoot and they were rewarded when hooker Charlie Wabo gathered his own chip-kick to send Nami on a 50-metre run to the line.


New Zealand reasserted their dominance in the final 10 mintues, however. Perrett collected a pinpoint Hohaia kick for his third before Jason Nightingale and Sika Manu both finished off more glorious passing play with ease.

The margin of victory equalled the Kiwis' previous biggest win over PNG - a 64-0 rout in 1996. However, a much greater test of their title mettle awaits Kearney's men when they face favourites Australia in Melbourne next Saturday, while PNG must now pick themselves up for their clash with England in Auckland on the same day.

Papua New Guinea captain Paul Aiton said: "We're very disappointed. We just missed something that make us PNG."

New Zealand: Hohaia, Nightingale, Kenny-Dowall, Sa'u, Perrett, Marshall, Fien, McKendry, Leuluai, Nuuausala, Manu, Mannering, Smith.
Replacements: Luke, Waerea-Hargreaves, Harrison, Eastwood.

Papua New Guinea: Tongia, Mark, Parker, Yere, Riyong, Nami, Aiye, Aizue, Wabo, Nightingale, Griffin, Kuike, Aiton.
Replacements: John, Pora, Tongap, Kolo.

Referee: Ben Cummins (AUS)

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see also
New Zealand 24-10 England
23 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Australia 42-0 Papua New Guinea
24 Oct 10 |  Rugby League

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