While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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Anzac Test 2006
Australia 50 v New Zealand 12
at Suncorp Stadium Crowd: 44,191
Referee: Ashley Klein
The Australians have comprehensively given the Kiwi's a footballing lesson tonight at Suncorp Stadium, defeating their Trans-Tasman counterparts by an enormous 50-12 scoreline.
Thought to be only getting stronger following their Tri-Nations win in 2005, the Kiwis, boosted by the presence of modern-day whizkids Benji Marshall and Sonny Bill Williams, ultimately had no answers for an Aussie outfit that ran riot with a second half blitz of tries to sink the New Zealanders.
The first half started with promise, Australia getting an early penalty goal before New Zealand scored the first try 14 minutes into the match. David Kidwell ran in to score after a brilliant play from five-eighth Leuluai, and the New Zealanders held the early lead.
Only moments later, Australia kicked into gear. Matt Cooper crossed out wide for the home side, and ultimately it was the start of some serious exposure of New Zealand's wing defence. By halftime, the Dragons' centre pairing of Cooper and Gasnier had a try each, and after a penalty shot by each side prior to the break, Australia held a healthy 14-6 lead.
After an extremely physical first half, both sides took down the intensity in the second stanza, but ultimately the weight of possession and momentum fell to the Australians. A try to Timana Tahu in the half loomed ominous as to what was approaching, but Sonny Bill Williams managed to quell Kiwi fears, albeit briefly, by striking back with a try of his own minutes later.
Ultimately that try spelled the end of New Zealand's hopes, with Australia crossing in the 54th, 58th and 69th minutes to drive the nails into the Kiwi coffin. Late tries kept flowing in the final ten, as Buderus scored with a little over five left. A moment of comedy ensued as Ben Kennedy, playing his final rep game, slotted a wobbly conversion to put the Aussies within six points of a half-century.
A final try, completing Darren Lockyer's double, saw Australia reach 48-12, leaving final test stalwart Andrew Johns to convert on the siren, drawing a curtain on a much-celebrated representative career. The conversion saw Australia reach fifty in front of a healthy crowd of 44,191.
In disappointing news for New Zealand, and moreso Penrith, Frank Pritchard was put on report for a high shot on controversial Australian fullback Karmichael Hunt. It remains to see if he'll be charged for the tackle. Standouts for the victors included Darren Lockyer and Timana Tahu, both bagging two tries; Andrew Johns, who was thrilling in his final test match; and Willie Mason, standing up to critics who questioned his selection as starting front-rower.
Australia will be happy to have atoned for the touch-up the Kiwis gave them in the Tri-Nations, while the losing side will be looking to this years tournament beginning in October to turn the tables, after what was a disappointing game for the men across the ditch. On the rep scene, attention now turns to the City-Country game as a prelude to State of Origin 1, which is less than 3 weeks away.
Tries: Darren Lockyer(2), Nathan Hindmarsh, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Timana Tahu(2), Danny Buderus
Goals: Ben Kennedy 1/1, Andrew Johns 8/9
New Zealand: 12
Tries: David Kidwell, Sonny Bill Williams
Goals: Brent Webb 2/4
Half time: Australia 14-6
By the Clock:
The Bundaberg Rum Test is underway it just a short time, shaping as a monumental match. Both test sides named are extremely strong and we're looking forward to a super match. Andrew Johns is playing his last representative match tonight, so watch for some emotion to bring the Aussies home. The sides can be viewed at http://www.leagueunlimited.com/article.asp?ID=10490.
Kick-off just minutes away now.
Ruben Wiki is out for NZ. Cayless comes out of the two man reserve pack to fill in, while Benji Marshall is starting from the bench. Thomas Leuluai replaces him in the halfback role. David Fa'alogo will start for the Kiwis, David Faiumu dropping to the bench also. Australia's 18th man Brent Kite drops off the five man bench.
The anthems have been sung... the Kiwi's perform the haka, led by David Kidwell - it's time for kickoff! Electric atmosphere tonight at Suncorp Stadium for what promises to be a great test.
0 min: NEWS Game on! The Bundaberg Rum League Test for 2006 is underway, New Zealand with first possession!
2 min: PENALTY GOAL Australia
Two early penalties give Australia a chance to put early points on the board. Joey Johns opens the scoring in his last Test match.
6 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL New Zealand
Webb misses a penalty goal attempt - the ball bouncing off the posts, and the Australians manage to get the ball back.
9 min: NEWS Big tackle by Vagana and Sonny Bill on Kennedy, BK looks groggy, but they get up and soldier on. Very tough opening to the encounter.
11 min: NEWS Video Refs adjudicating on a possible NZ try. Fa'alogo appears to have gone over after a one on one strip by Tame Tupou on Matt King. Possible grounding issues and double movement, although Fa'alogo seems to think he got across. DECISION PENDING....
11 min: NEWS NO TRY for New Zealand. The indication is that Fa'alogo was held up.
14 min: TRY New Zealand
Kidwell crosses for New Zealand on the following play. A great play by Leuluai. Webb has missed a shocker of a conversion.
New Zealand 4-2
18 min: TRY Australia
Relatively easy try for Matt Cooper and Australia re-claim the lead. Johns converts for the home side and they take a four point lead.
19 min: NEWS Hopeless restart sees the Australian side on the attack again - it's gone out on the full.
26 min: TRY Australia
Brilliant try to Mark Gasnier, Australia stroll out to a decent lead now at Suncorp. Johns' conversion isn't there, just missed. The 'Roos lead the test by eight points.
28 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand
Webb finally manages to find the air located between the goalposts following a penalty. In the meantime, Tigers whiz-kid Benji Marshall comes on the field to fire up the Kiwis.
36 min: PENALTY GOAL Australia
Johns puts a penalty in just short of the break.
HALFTIME: Australia have ever so slightly dominated possession in the first half, and their skill close to the line has been great. Having said that, the game has been a very physical one, and getting to the attacking 20 has been a task in itself. Johns seems to be warming up to the task, watch for him to wear down the Kiwi forwards in the second half. New Zealand have done well in defence, but ultimately the tries they've conceded have been a little soft. Second half underway in a short while.
41 min: NEWS Second half underway, New Zealand on first good attack of the half. The visitors are looking threatening.
44 min: VIDEO REF... Possibly Australian try to Timana Tahu. Decision pending...
45 min: TRY Australia
Try out wide for Tahu after some great passing work to the outer flank. A kick from the touchline for Johns is perfect, hitting both upright and crossbar before falling over.
48 min: TRY New Zealand
Sensational Sonny scores a bizarre try, swooping on a loose ball tapped by Australian tryscorer Tahu. Webb gets his second goal of the night and New Zealand striking straight back, only down by eight once again.
51 min: NEWS Pritchard's first tackle of the night has been a huge shoulder shot on Karmichael Hunt's head, and he is out cold. Suncorp is alive with noise. Penalty awarded to Australia.
ON REPORT: Frank Pritchard (NZL)
Thurston is ON for Australia - Suncorp erupts with applause!
54 min: TRY Australia
Hindmarsh has sliced through New Zealand's woeful edge defence and stretches Australia's lead back out again. Johns' conversion is successful.
58 min: TRY Australia
More easy around the edges as Tahu grabs a brace. Andrew Johns, same spot, another conversion leather perfect. Aussies running away with proceedings now as NZ's edge defence is being tested.
62 min: NEWS New Zealand trying valiantly now, Australia's few attempts at the line drying up. Seems to be too late as the Kiwi's are bombing their chances as well.
OFFICIAL CROWD: 44,191
68 min: TRY Australia
Mason and Gasnier combine to give Lockyer a try in an easy position in front of the posts for Johns to convert, which he does easily. Australia exacting the revenge for last years Tri-Nations defeat now in the final stages.
75 min: TRY Australia
Easy runaway try to Buderus. Ben Kennedy kicks the conversion!
79 min: TRY Australia
Lockyer scores after a bomb goes up, Johns converts, and the siren sounds.
FULLTIME: Australia have comprehensively scrapped New Zealand 50 points to 12 in Andrew Johns' final test. The halves combination dominated, and the wingers, in particular Tahu, stood out, cutting the Kiwis' edge defence to pieces. Excellent win by the Aussies in the end.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Darren Lockyer (Kangaroos)
2 - Andrew Johns (Kangaroos)
1 - Willie Mason (Kangaroos)