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New Zealand 20-34 Australia

New Zealand (10) 20
Tries: Pritchard, Nightingale, Kenny-Dowall Goals: Marshall (4)

Australia (18) 34
Tries: Boyd, Lawrence, Morris (2), Cronk, Tate Goals: Carney (2), Smith (3)

Australia ease to victory over New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland, despite resting several big names

Highlights - New Zealand 20-34 Australia

Australia rested several big names but still eased to victory over New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland in a preview of next weekend's Four Nations final.

Early tries by Cooper Cronk, Brett Morris and Brent Tate put the visitors 18-2 up before Frank Pritchard pulled a try back before half-time.

Further tries by Darius Boyd, Morris and Chris Lawrence put Australia in total control of the match.

But late tries by Jason Nightingale and Shaun Kenny-Dowall restored Kiwi pride.

With both sides knowing their place in next weekend's final was already assured, Australia chose to rest captain Darren Lockyer and full-back Billy Slater, but they were still a class above their opponents.


Scrum-half Cronk bagged the first try after six minutes, and further scores by winger Morris and centre Tate, together with three conversions from stand-in captain Cameron Smith, ensured Australia were on top from the outset.

New Zealand replacement Pritchard pulled a try back for the home side on the half-hour mark, with penalties from Benji Marshall and Issac Luke closing the gap before the interval, but the visitors stepped up a gear after the restart.

Morris did well to avoid straying into touch on the right-hand touchline before flicking a pass in to the supporing Boyd to touch down, and debutant Lawrence further extended the lead when he was quickest to reach Robbie Farah's kick.

By the time Morris added his second try, the result was beyond doubt, although brilliant play from Kiwi skipper Benji Marshall created two late tries that gave the scoreboard a veneer of respectability.

First he produced a delightful reverse pass to Nightingale, who touched down in the right-hand corner, and then another piece of slick handling put Kenny-Dowall over to score, but it was too late for there to be any chance of a serious New Zealand comeback.

"A lot has been said in the media in the past week about our selections," said Australia captain Smith.

"We had four new caps out there and there was a lot of comment about that but we have to be happy with the effort.

"We've got to take a lot of momentum into the final next week."

Marshall said New Zealand's performance was "disappointing".

"We didn't do what we practiced and we paid for it," he added.

New Zealand: Lance Hohaia, Jason Nightingale, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Junior Sa'u, Sam Perrett, Benji Marshall (cpt), Nathan Fien, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Thomas Leuluai, Adam Blair, Sika Manu, Simon Mannering, Jeremy Smith.
Subs: Issac Luke, Greg Eastwood, Frank Pritchard, Ben Matulino, Bronson Harrison.

Australia: Darius Boyd, Brett Morris, Brent Tate, Chris Lawrence, Lote Tuqiri, Todd Carney, Cooper Cronk, Matthew Scott, Cameron Smith (cpt), David Shillington, Greg Bird, Sam Thaiday, Paul Gallen.
Subs: Dean Young, Petero Civoniceva, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Robbie Farah, Kurt Gidley.

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see also
England 36-10 Papua New Guinea
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby League
Australia 34-14 England
31 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
N Zealand 76-12 Papua New Guinea
30 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Australia 42-0 Papua New Guinea
24 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
New Zealand 24-10 England
23 Oct 10 |  Rugby League

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