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Australia has defeated New Zealand 18-10 in an entertaining contest in front of 26,497 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
A penalty goal by Johnathan Thurston saw the Australians take the lead late in the closely contested second half before Darius Boyd sealed the win in the 72nd minute.
While the Australians held the upper hand for much of the match, it was the Kiwis who were on the front foot early as they capitalised on some mistakes from the Kangaroos before Isaac Luke opened up the scoring with a try in the eighth minute. Krisnan Inu added the extras to give the Kiwis a six-point-lead.
The Kiwis continued to dominate possession and field position over the next passage of play before the Australians hit back through Cameron Smith in the 24th minute. Thurston failed to convert the try.
The Aussies were over again ten minutes later with James Tamou scoring the first try of his test career after being put into space by Cooper Cronk. Thurston added the extras for a 10-6 lead. But just as the Australians were looking like running away with the match, the Kiwis pulled one out of a hat on the stroke of halftime, with Sam Perrett beating Billy Slater to a spiralling bomb before sending the ball through the hands out wide for Gerard Beale to score in the corner. Inu failed to convert, leaving scores locked up at 10-10 after 40 minutes.
The Kiwis were given an early opportunity to snatch the lead after the break, but three back-to-back sets were not enough to break through the Australian defence.
Thurston appeared to have broken the deadlock in the 62nd minute when he went over the line, but replays revealed he had failed to ground the ball.
Thurston gave the Kangaroos the lead minutes later with a penalty kick before Boyd strolled in for a try on the back of a Billy Slater bust and Paul Gallen offload in the 72nd minute.
The next Rugby League action on Australian soil will be on Saturday 9 February 2013, when the All Stars match unofficially kicks off the 2013 NRL season at a packed Suncorp Stadium.
Australia 18 defeated New Zealand 10
National Rugby League - End of Season Test - Saturday October 13, 2012 7:30pm
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins (AU)
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins (AU) and Leon Williamson (NZ)
Touch Judges: Russell Turner (AU) and Shane Rehm (NZ)
Halftime: Australia 10 New Zealand 10
Tries: Cameron Smith, Darius Boyd, James Tamou
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)
NEW ZEALAND (10)
Tries: Isaac Luke, Gerard Beale
Conversions: Krisnan Inu (1/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good evening Rugby League fans and welcome to Dairy Farmers Stadium where Australia takes on New Zealand.
There is only one late change to the sides, Tony Williams will start at lock tonight, replacing Nate Myles who shifts to the bench.
In the curtain raiser, the Junior Kangaroos have trounced the Junior New Zealand team 48-16.
1 min: We are under way at Dairy Farmers.
3 min: The Kiwis will get a scrum a few metres into Kangaroos' territory after a mistake from Tony Williams.
4 min: The Kiwis spread it out wide to Sam Perrett who grubbers into the corner, but it beats everyone over the side line. A let off for the Australians.
6 min: The Kwis receive a penalty late in the penalty count and they will go right on the attack.
7 min: Possible try to the Kiwis! Just checking for double movement.
8 min: TRY
TRY! Issac Luke burrows his way over the try line from dummy half and grounds the ball over the try line to open up the scoring. Krisnan Inu adds the extras.
New Zealand 6-0
10 min: The Kiwis will get another scrum just short halfway after a knock on from Paul Gallen.
11 min: The Aussies will get a scrum feed a few metres out from their own line after Jesse Bromwich loses the ball for the Kiwis.
15 min: The Kangaroos will get a penalty after Brett Morris is tackled in the air defending his line against a bomb.
20 min: Isaac Luke is pinned for a forward pass 40 out from the Kangaroos' line.
23 min: The Australians force a line drop out and will get another shot at the New Zealand line.
25 min: TRY
TRY! Cameron Smith goes himself from dummy half and slices straight through the Kiwis' defence to score. Johnathan Thurston fails to convert.
New Zealand 6-4
27 min: The Aussies are right on the attack after a lost ball from the Kiwis.
28 min: The Australians force a line drop out.
29 min: Brett Morris is tackled into touch a few metres out from the try line.
35 min: TRY
TRY! Cooper Cronk puts James Tamou into a gap 20 metres out from the Kiwis' line who strides over for his first test try. Thurston adds the extras.
40 min: TRY
TRY! Benji Marshall goes to the air 40 out and Perrett manages to fly high to pluck the ball out of the air before spreading it out wide to Gerard Beale who scores in the corner. Inu fails to convert from the touch line as the hooter sounds.
41 min: The second half is under way!
41 min: The Kiwis receive an early penalty.
42 min: Darius Boyd attempts an intercept and is pinned for a knock on a few metres out from his own line.
44 min: The Kiwis force a line drop out.
46 min: Tony Williams saves the day for the Australians.
52 min: Ryan Hoffman has just limped off the field with an injury.
54 min: Tamou makes a bust 20 out from his own line and streaks down field before offloading to Slater 40 out from Kiwi line. Aussies 40 out on tackle two.
59 min: Australians are only 30 out on tackle three.
60 min: Beale is trapped in goal after fielding a Cronk grubber.
62 min: Possible try to Thurston.
62 min: NO TRY! The ball was never grounded over the line!
63 min: PENALTY GOAL
The Aussies are back in the lead with a penalty.
71 min: Australians are on halfway on tackle three.
73 min: TRY
TRY! Robbie Farah puts Nate Myles into a gap, Myles offloads to Gallen who draws in some defenders before offloading to Darius Boyd who races away to score under the posts. Thurston adds the extras.
74 min: Slater slices straight through Kiwis defence before being brought down 10 metres into the New Zealand half. The Kiwis then concede a penalty.
75 min: Josh Morris is pinned for a double movement lunging for the line.
78 min: Marshall knocks on 15 metres out from his own line on the back of a scrum.
80 min: Simon Mannering is tackled on halfway as the full time siren sounds. Australia have won the test match 18-10.