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A 44,324 strong Eden Park crowd came out to see Australia overpower New Zealand 34 points to 20. Despite the game essentially being a dead rubber, there was a fair bit of feeling in it.
Even with what has been called a second string side, Australia did not take long to assert their dominance. New Zealand had much of the early possession, but Australia's first venture to New Zealand's side of halfway led to their first points of the game.
Cooper Cronk was the first try scorer in the 15th minute, it was converted and Australia were on top and began to really dominate proceedings. Next points however went to New Zealand by the way of a penalty goal in the 18th minute.
Australia soon reasserted their dominance scoring back to back tries in the 21st and 24th minutes to Brett Morris and Brent Tate respectively, both tries converted by Cameron Smiths from opposite sidelines, to help his 4 nations conversion rate which had been a bit ordinary before this match.
There was a momentum swing in favour of the Kiwis once members of their bench were injected into the game, this was converted into points by a Frank Pritchard try. Marshall converted it and took another penalty goal before half time, reducing the deficit to 18 points to ten before the interval.
Australia dominated possession in the opening phases of the second forty, and first points of the second half came from the hands of Darius Boyd in the 46th minute. Australia were able to run away with the game from that point.
Tries to Chris Lawrence and a second to Brett Morris in the 53rd and 58th minutes capped off by Todd Carney conversions gave Australia an almost insurmountable lead heading into the final quarter of the game.
New Zealand did strike back, first in the 63rd minute, Benji Marshall flick passed, fooled Tigers teammate Tiquiri to put Nightingale in to score, but the unsuccessful conversion meant the Kiwis were still behind by more than 3 converted tries.
Kiwis began to stamp their authorities on proceedings, they scored the last try of the match in the 77th minute off another Marshall flick pass, this time Kenny Dowall. Marshall converted it to make the deficit a more respectable 14 points.
Despite the big loss, New Zealand scored the last two tries and dominated the last quarter, so the may be able to take some momentum into the final next weekend.
New Zealand 20 were defeated by Australia 34
International - Four Nations: Week Three - Saturday November 6, 2010 6:15pm
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Richard Silverwood (ENG)
Video Referee: Bill Harrigan (AU) and D Pakieto (NZ, Observer)
Touch Judges: Gerard Sutton (AU) and James Child (ENG)
Halftime: New Zealand 10 Australia 18
New Zealand (20)
Tries: Frank Pritchard, Jason Nightingale, Shaun Kenny-Dowall
Conversions: Benji Marshall (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Benji Marshall (2/2)
Tries: Brett Morris (2), Cooper Cronk, Brent Tate, Darius Boyd, Chris Lawrence
Conversions: Cameron Smith (3/4), Todd Carney (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Hello again from Eden Park for the second match of this double header and penultimate game of 2010's Four Nations series.
England took out the first game 36 - 10 over Papua New Guinea.
1 min: After an extended haka, New Zealand kick off to get this game underway
2 min: PENALTY to New Zealand early, for an attacking chance in the opening phases.
4 min: Greg Bird loses the ball near halfway, more posession and field position for the Kiwis.
5 min: Kiwis cannot penetrate the Australian line, but defending well to keep Australia their own side of halfway
6 min: PENALTY to Australia, for their first attacking set of the match and their first venture the New Zealand side of half way.
8 min: TRY
TRY to Australia, Gallen fends and gets it onto Cameron Smith who gives it off to Melbourne teammate Cooper Cronk, who takes on Marshall one on one, pushes him off and scores in the corner. Conversion by Cameron Smith Successful.
11 min: Australia begining to really dominate the Kiwis here
14 min: PENALTY Kangaroos, indescretion in the tackle.
16 min: PENALTY to the Kiwis, high tackle from Shillington, has inspired a bit of feeling in this game, as Kiwis rush in from everywhere for a bit of biff.
17 min: PENALTY to the Kiwis again, and they go for a penalty goal from 6 behind.
18 min: PENALTY GOAL
A bad kick from Benji Marshall sneaks inside the uprights.
19 min: Mistake from New Zealand after the kickoff and Australia have the ball about ten metres out.
20 min: New Zealand defend their line well not to leak anymore points there, but the result is a line drop out, so more attacking opportunity for Australia.
22 min: TRY
TRY to Australia, another one started off by Gallen, this time getting it on to Carney who throws a long ball to Brent Tate who bumps through Perrett to put Brett Morris in in the corner. Conversion from Cameron Smith successful.
23 min: Terrible kick off from Benji Marshall putting it out on the fly, another invitation to Australia to do some damage.
25 min: TRY
TRY and Australia take the invitation, Tate puts himself in this time, looked to go short side, had Morris on his outside, but did not need the support, muscles over and scores. Conversion from Cameron Smith successful.
26 min: PENALTY to New Zealand, chance to hit back at this deficit.
27 min: New Zealand get a repeat set, from a good kick, to cause a line drop out.
28 min: PENALTY to New Zealand, referee called a penalty, but reverses the decision because of Aussie hands on the ball, another chance for the Kiwis.
30 min: TRY
TRY to New Zealand, Pritchard one off the ruck runs over two defenders to score and put the first Kiwi try on the board. Conversion from Benji Marshall successful.
32 min: New Zealand playing with a lot more purpose and dominating the Kangaroos over the last ten minutes.
33 min: Knock on against New Zealand, to give Australia a hand back into the match.
35 min: Ball gifted to Australia with a bad pass.
36 min: New Zealand doing all the attacking, Australia starting to look a bit tired on the field, Kiwis earn a repeat set, forcing a line drop out.
38 min: Issac Luke takes on David Shillington, a bit of fight erupts and players from both sides rush in
39 min: PENALTY GOAL
Referee Richard Silverwood awards a penalty to New Zealand, who again take the shot at goal, successful shot from Benji Marshall.
40 min: The half anti-climactically comes to a close with Australia ahead 18 points to 10.
41 min: Second half back underway.
43 min: PENALTY Australia, New Zealand offside, good attacking position for Australia ere, who start the se about 15 metres out.
44 min: Repeat set for Australia who force a line drop out.
VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Australia TRY.
47 min: TRY
TRY after some deliberation. Darius Boyd off beautiful lead up work from Brett Morris taking a long pass from Carney stepping in and getting it on to Boyd to score. Conversion from Cameron Smith unsuccessful.
49 min: Intercept by Marshall who soon drops it only to give Australia a repeat set.
50 min: PENALTY to New Zealand for offside, Marshall take a quick tap and get New Zealand in good position for the rest of this set.
51 min: PENALTY Kangaroos...
54 min: TRY
TRY to the Kangaroos, Tigers' Farrah and Lawrence connect to put another four pointer on for the Aussies. Carney takes the conversion with Cameron Smith off the field and gets it.
Apologies for some technical difficulties.
59 min: TRY
TRY to the Kangaroos. More points for the green and gold, another try to Morris. Conversion from Todd Carney successful
57 min: Australia really dominating these stages of the game.
62 min: Farrah knock on to give Kiwis a scrum and maybe a chance here.
64 min: TRY
Benji Marshall flick pass fools Tiquiri to put Nightingale in to score. Conversion from Marshall unsuccessful.
66 min: Kiwis playing back into this game, but the damage may have already been done ...
77 min: TRY
TRY to New Zealand! Benji Marshall has done it again, flicking the ball to Shaun Kenny-Dowall to score. Benji Marshall converts it
80 min: Apologies for the technical difficulties, final score was 34-20 to Australia.