Dallin Watene-Zelezniak scored four tries as New Zealand all but secured their place in the World Cup knockout stages with a 68-6 win over Jamaica in Hull.
The New Zealand Warriors wing touched down three times in the first half and added another after the break as Michael Maguire’s side stamped their authority on the tournament with 13 tries in front of 6,829 fans at the MKM Stadium.
New Zealand had far from impressed in their opening win over Lebanon. But they dominated this Pool C tie from the off against a side with only four players who have Super League experience.
Jamaica played with plenty of spirit. They claimed their first World Cup finals try through the experienced Ben Jones-Bishop with three minutes remaining.
Jamaica showed no sign of nerves as they forced New Zealand into a goal-line dropout from their first attack of the game.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak opens the scoring
But from their opening attack New Zealand responded with the first try. Watene-Zelezniak dived over in the right corner after five minutes.
Peta Hiku was next on the scoresheet in the same corner. He took a pass from Watene-Zelezniak with 10 minutes on the clock.
Watene-Zelezniak then claimed his second try of the match as he cut in off the wing and evaded two tackles before crossing. Kieran Foran landed his first kick of the game.
The New Zealand Warriors wing added his third try with a neat sidestep to evade the cover to put the Kiwis 18-0 ahead after 20 minutes.
Jamaica were twice held short of the line after New Zealand were penalised for a high tackle but could not make the good position pay as the Kiwis held out.
A break from halfway by Sebastian Kris set up try number five as Marata Niukore’s persistence sent him over near the posts. Foran converted after half an hour.
A high floating pass from Briton Nikora set up Kris for another try on the left. Jeremy Marshall-King then claimed a kick from Watene-Zelezniak to touch down and make it 34-0 to the Kiwis at the break.
Kiwis comfortable at the break
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad stretched New Zealand’s advantage with the first try of the second half. Watene-Zelezniak was successful with his first kick to make it 40-0.
Nikora stepped in from the left for try number nine. Watene-Zelezniak’s grubber from the right was gathered by Marshall-King for his second score. The Kiwis took their total to the half-century with 25 minutes left.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak gets four
Watene-Zelezniak just managed to stay in touch for his fourth try, although he was injured in the process and left the field. Foran returned to kicking duties with his fourth conversion as the Kiwis led 56-0.
Brandon Smith stretched out of the tackle for New Zealand’s 12th try with 13 minutes left to play and added another as Jamaica could not keep him out following a determined run.
Jamaica’s first-ever Rugby League World Cup try
Jones-Bishop made his own bit of history with his country’s first-ever World Cup finals try near the end as he gathered the loose ball to score. Kieran Rush added the extras in a 68-6 defeat.
New Zealand: Nicoll-Klokstad; Watene-Zelezniak, Hiku, Niukore, Kris; Manu, Foran; Leota, Smith, Fisher-Harris, K Bromwich, Nikora, Liu. Subs: Papali’i, Asofa-Solomona, Marshall-King, Sorensen.
Tries: Watene-Zelezniak (4), Hiku, Niukore, Kris, Marshall-King (2), Nicoll-Klokstad, Nikora, Smith (2) Goals: Foran 6, Watene-Zelezniak 2
Jamaica: B Jones-Bishop; Agoro, Johnson, Ogden, Simpson; Woodburn-Hall, Rush; Lawrence, Golding, Tomlinson, Wallace, Farrell, Brown. Subs: Bailey, Andrade, Ho, Thompson.
Tries: B Jones-Bishop Goals: Rush 1