Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Kangaroos' new era marred by shock NZ loss

Kangaroos' new era marred by shock NZ loss

The start was absolutely flawless for the Kangaroos, with the Kiwis tactic of up-and-in defence backfiring when they couldn't shut down the ball and a good combination of passing between Roosters trio Boyd Cordner, Luke Keary and James Tedesco gave fellow premiership Rooster, centre Latrell Mitchell space out on the left hand side before drawing in the fullback and passing out to Valentine Holmes who took the ball around towards the posts and scored the opener.

New Zealand captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak declared that the Kiwis would only continue to improve as they begun a new era for global football by inflicting the first defeat in Mal Meninga's tenure as Australian coach.

Johnson again was allowed to run across field, with Manu popping a magical offload in traffic to send Jordan Rapana over to give his side what proved a winning lead at 26-12.

Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium played host to a triple-header between the fierce sporting rivals on Saturday.

It was the New Zealanders' first win over Australia since the 2015 Anzac Test.

It was the first time in six years that New Zealand have beaten their nearest neighbours and reigning World champions. The Tongan people are prideful about their country and where they come from.

"We are still building, We have only set the foundations now but we have to keep building".

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The Australians scored an early try to Valentine Holmes, but they suffered a blow when they lost halfback Luke Keary on 17 minutes.

While New Zealand dominated possession and territory in the first half, Australia began and ended the spell with tries which gave it a lead at halftime. They remained a threat throughout the match but wanted for opportunities.

"Just his experience and the player he is, everyone knows he's one of the best in the game".

The Kiwis then seized control of the match at the start of the second half, breaking down the Australia defence to score tries through Smith, Marsters and Rapana.

The 27-year-old South Sydney Rabbitohs flyer only made the squad in a reshuffle when original skipper Greg Inglis was suspended after being caught allegedly drink driving, which saw Boyd Cordner promoted to captain.

Next Saturday's test between Tonga and Australia at Mount Smart is already sold out, prompting fears the Mate Ma'a were winning the battles for the hearts and minds of the New Zealand public.

"The boys have spoken about what kind of team they want to be so the fans do come along and come on the ride with us".

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