Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help
Last Updated: Saturday, 26 November 2005, 20:13 GMT
Australia 0-24 New Zealand
Australia (0) 0
New Zealand (16) 24
Tries: Whatuira, Vatuvei (2), Webb
Goals: Jones (4)
New Zealand produced one of the most remarkable performances in rugby league history as they destroyed Australia to claim the Tri-Nations title in Leeds.

Australia, who had not lost a Test series since 1978, were blown away by the Kiwis' awesome first-half display.

Tries from Paul Whatuira, Manu Vatuvei (2) and two penalties from Stacey Jones gave New Zealand a 16-0 half-time lead.

Brent Webb went over on 52 minutes as New Zealand completely outplayed a hugely-disappointing Australia.

The Kangaroos looked miles off the pace, but New Zealand's attacking verve and defensive enthusiasm made them well worth their comprehensive victory.

New Zealand got off to the perfect start and it was thanks to the skills of Jones, the man who only arrived on Friday following a 12,000-mile flight back from Down Under after attending the birth of his third child.

Jones sent up a huge up-and-under and Matt King, under strong pressure from Jake Webster, spilled the ball for Whatuira to claim the opening try.

The Kiwis' approach to the game was epitomised by the five-man tackle soon after as King looked to escape down the touchline.

The defence was strong once more on 18 minutes as Jason Ryles was dragged down inches short of the line.

At the next phase Davis Kidwell intercepted and went 60m before being knocked flying by Brent Tate's tackle.

The Kiwis were awarded a penalty after some holding in the tackle but the award only sparked a mass brawl in the middle of the pitch.

It was New Zealand who kept their composure best though, and moments later Vattuvei dived in at the corner for his team's second score.

Australia conceded penalty after penalty in the first half
Australia were on the wrong end of a series of decisions from Steve Ganson

Australia seemed to produce as many handling errors as in their other four games put together with Ben Kennedy, Willie Mason and Craig Gower all putting simple passes down.

Vatuvei grabbed his second on 26 minutes after another perfectly-judged kick from Jones. The winger jumped highest and wrestled the ball from Brent Tate to touch down.

Jones added two late penalties - both for silly offences at the play-the-ball - to rub salt into the wounds for Australia and give his team a 16-0 lead.

The Kangaroos were looking for a quick start to the second half, but the mistakes just kept on coming to undermine their hopes, although Trent Barrett was unlucky to see his dive for the line fall just short.

New Zealand understandably kept it simple as they protected their sizable lead, but on 52 minutes Webb's try ended any distant Australian chance.

The ball went through several pairs of hands before - who else? - Jones gave the scoring pass.

Jones added another penalty on 59 minutes to cap a brilliant display.

Australia did not lack for effort, but as handling error followed handling error they began to look a beaten side.

New Zealand's defensive line held firm to the end, and Australia were left without a point on the scoreboard for the first time since 1985.

Australia: Minichiello, King, Gasnier, Cooper, Tate, Barrett, Gower, Civoniceva, Buderus, Ryles, O'Donnell, Fitzgibbon, Kennedy.
Replacements: Wing, Mason, O'Meley, Price.

New Zealand: Webb, Webster, Whatuira, Toopi, Vatuvei, N Vagana, Jones, Rauhihi, Tony, Wiki, Kidwell, Anderson, Hape.
Replacements: Faiumu, Asotasi, Solomona, Lauitiitii.

Referee: Steve Ganson (England).

Att: 26,534

Highlights: Australia 0-24 New Zealand

Post-match reaction

Half-back Jones answers Kiwi call
11 Nov 05 |  International
Good riddance to the 'General'
31 Oct 05 |  International
Perpignan sign Kiwi great Jones
21 Apr 05 |  Rugby League

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other Sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport