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Australia 12-16 New Zealand

Australia (6) 12
Tries: Tate, Slater Goals: Smith 2

New Zealand (6) 16
Tries: Kenny-Dowall, Nightingale, Fien Goals: Marshall 2

Last-minute Kiwi try

Last-minute Kiwi try shocks Australia

A last-minute try from Nathan Fien gave New Zealand a dramatic victory over fierce rivals Australia in the Four Nations final in Brisbane.

The Kiwis trailed for much of the game and were 12-6 behind with 10 minutes to go before tries from Jason Nightingale and Fien turned the match on its head.

Brent Tate's try had given Australia an early lead, which Shaun Kenny-Dowall cancelled out late in the first half.

Billy Slater's try looked to have won it for Australia before the late drama.

Following Australia's 34-20 victory over the Kiwis a week ago, few had given New Zealand much hope of repeating their 2008 World Cup final success or 2005 Tri-Nations triumph over the Kangaroos.

However, a determined effort from the Kiwis, coupled with injuries that reduced Australia to only two replacements for the entirety of the second half, enabled them to record a superb victory.

Featherstone Rovers RLFC

Despite losing second rower Luke Lewis - the two-try hero of the win over England - with an ankle problem midway through the first half and Tate failing to emerge for the second because of a knee injury, it appeared as though Australia were destined to take the crown.

An error by full-back Lance Hohaia gifted them the lead, with Tate crossing and Cameron Smith adding the conversion.

There was controversy over the score, though, with English touch-judge James Child failing to spot that Brett Morris had placed a foot in touch in the build-up.

There was a sense of justice when centre Kenny-Dowall took a delayed and suspiciously forward pass from skipper Benji Marshall to score an equalising try five minutes before half-time.

But the Aussies bagged another try after the break, when former Catalans Dragons skipper Greg Bird combined with Cooper Cronk to get full-back Slater over on 57 minutes.

Smith again converted to seemingly put his side in control only for New Zealand winger Nightingale to pounce on a perfectly-placed kick from Marshall to score with nine minutes to go.

Marshall hit the post with his conversion attempt to leave his side trailing by two points but the momentum was now with the Kiwis.

And in the final minute, Nightingale broke clear down the right flank and his speculative pass found Marshall, with Fien in the right place to finish off a glorious move.

Marshall added the icing to a famous win by kicking the conversion.

Reaction to New Zealand's win

Afterwards, New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney played down his team's stunning triumph, insisting Australia are still the benchmark.

"Australia are a champion side but we showed some fairly good qualities tonight, too," he said.

"Last week showed that there is a still gap between ourselves and Australia and it's a matter of always trying to close that gap.

"I thought we did a little bit of that tonight. But it's an ongoing challenge."

Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer, who has almost certainly played his last match for his country on home soil, was magnanimous in defeat.

"Obviously we're very disappointed with the result but you can't take away the effort that the New Zealand boys put in, they deserved their win," he said.

Australia: Slater, Morris, Tate, Tonga, Tuqiri, Lockyer, Cronk, Scott, Smith, Shillington, Lewis, Thaiday, Gallen.
Replacements: Learoyd-Lahrs, Bird, Gidley, Myles.

New Zealand: Hohaia, Nightingale, Kenny-Dowall, Mannering, Perrett, Marshall, Fien, McKendry, Leuluai, Blair, Harrison, Matulino, Smith.
Replacements: Eastwood, Luke, Nuuausala, Manu.

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see also
New Zealand 20-34 Australia
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby League
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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Telegraph Australia 12 New Zealand 16 - 2 hrs ago
Our Brisbane Kiwis pull off Four Nations miracle - 2 hrs ago
Daily Star Kiwis claim Four Nations crown - 3 hrs ago
League Unlimited Marshall conjures Four Nations miracle - 3 hrs ago


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