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The black and whites had made the better opening to the game, getting into the faces of the Kangaroos, and that pressure told when after six minutes Nigel Vagana put them into a 6-0 lead.

However, Australia restored parity soon after with a quick reply from Karmichael Hunt; and it took only five more minutes for them to take the lead with Hunt’s second.

The green and gold could have come unstuck after an impromptu brawl in the Kiwis’ in-goal area after Matt King was shoved into the advertising hoardings.

But the lead was extended to 18-0 with a length of the field try from Mark Gasnier, who latched onto a loose pass from Stacey Jones.

Greg Inglis had a try disallowed for the visitors soon after the half time interval, and New Zealand gave themselves a ray of hope when Jerome Ropati slipped over to reduce the deficit.

However, tries from Mark O’Mely and Inglis sealed the victory for Australia before the Kiwis grabbed a consolation score through Manu Vatuvei on the final hooter.   

New Zealand

Webb, Tupou, Soliola, Matai, Vatuvei (T), Vagana (T), Jones 2G), Wiki (captain), Halatau, Asotasi, Kidwell, Puletua, Mannering.

Subs Ropati (T), Cayless, Blair, Pritchard.

Australia

Hunt (2T), King, Gasnier (T), Hodges, Inglis (T), Lockyer (captain), Thurston (5G), Mason, Smith, Civoniceva, O'Donnell, Hindmarsh, Maitua.

Subs O'Meley (T), Berrigan, Ryan, Kite.

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