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Tri-Nations Game 2
Australia 20 v New Zealand 15
at Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Referee: Ashley Klein
AUSTRALIA has snatched a miraculous victory from New Zealand following a sensational try to centre Mark Gasnier in the final minutes of tonight's Tri-Nations II clash in Melbourne.
With just two minutes remaining, Australia attacked the Kiwi line through it?s halves in Johnathon Thurston and Darren Lockyer, combining with fullback Karmichael Hunt who put a flying Gasnier through a hole from close range.
But it was winger Greg Inglis in the 75th minute who put Australia within reach when he ran 50 metres to score under the posts. Inglis received a flat ball from his captain Darren Lockyer before sprinting down the touchline.
New Zealand were the first to score when rookie Shontayne Hape scored his first Test try in the 7th minute. The Kiwis managed to hold out the Aussies, keeping most of the possession whilst dominating the penalty count.
Both sides were aggressive right from the start but it was New Zealand who dominated in defence while rushing up early on Lockyer and Thurston, leaving the Australian halves with few options.
The second-half started much like the first. A break from Kiwi stalwart Stacey Jones led to a try to Iosia Soliola in the 50th minute. Soliola then bagged his second in the 66th minute after a blindside movement on the last tackle, boosting the confidence in the Kiwi camp.
A win looked inevitable for the Kiwis. But Australia showed it?s class and was too good in the end.
Australia have now gone two-up in this year's Tri-Nations series while New Zealand have yet to post a win. Next Saturday the Kiwis take on Great Britain at Jade Stadium in Christchurch.
Tries: Mark Gasnier, Greg Inglis(2)
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 4/4
New Zealand: 15
Tries: Iosia Soliola(2), Shontayne Hape
Goals: Stacey Jones 1/3
Field Goals: Stacey Jones
By the Clock:
Rugby League will showcase one of the most anticipated rematches of the year in Melbourne tonight when Australia takes on New Zealand at the Telstra Dome in Game II of the Tri-Nations series.
Tonight?s game promises to be an aggressive one right from the start after a fiery encounter last week, which saw some sledging, big-hits and an all-in-brawl.
Kangaroos prop Willie Mason withdrew from tonight?s game yesterday on the advice of team doctor Hugh Hazzard so Mark O?Meley moves into the starting side. Anthony Tupou will make his debut off the bench in place of the injured Reni Maitua ? Andrew Ryan has been promoted to the run-on team as a second-rower moving Luke O'Donnell to lock. Sam Thaiday will also debut for Australia tonight in number 19.
For the Kiwi?s Shontayne Hape will start on the wing as Nathan Fien and David Fa?alogo are welcomed to the bench. Jerome Ropati moves to hooker in place of the injured Dene Halatau.
The players are now making there way out on to the ground. They are now waiting for the National anthems. The Haka - which should be interesting - will follow.
KICKOFF - New Zealand kicks off and gets Game II of the Tri-Nations underway. New Zealand will run left to right.
2 min: NEWS Australia is penalised for taking the unattended ball at the ruck. NZ was causght napping without a dummyhalf but Referee Klein pinned the Aussies. NZ now on the attack in the Aussie half.
3 min: NEWS NZ have now recieved another penalty close to the Aussie line. They're looking dangerous.
4 min: NEWS Aussie's now have the ball back after a Manu Vatuvei knock-on.
6 min: NEWS David Kidwell takes a quick tap off another NZ penalty close to the Aussie line and nearly scores, but is held up. Another set of six for NZ.
7 min: TRY New Zealand
Shontayne Hape get's his first test try after using a nice right-step on the Aussie's before using his strength to score.
Jones fails to convert.
New Zealand 4-0
9 min: NEWS Both teams are showing aggression early on as Kiwi capatain Ruben Wiki smashes Karmichael Hunt.
13 min: NEWS New Zealand has had all the ball so far. Possession: NZ 65% AUS 35%.
16 min: VIDEO REF - Matt King is disallowed a try after trying to score in the corner. Kiwi's get a scrum and Stacey Jones pulls off a bit of a fake run from the scrum gaining a penalty for his side.
18 min: NEWS Soliola almost gets four points but loses the ball over the line. The Aussies look releaved.
21 min: NEWS Australia recieves their first penalty of the match. They now enter the enemies territory for only the second time.
22 min: NEWS More bad luck for Matt King on the right wing as another try is disallowed by the Video Refs. His leg crossed the line before he grounded the ball.
Sam Thaiday is now on for Australia.
24 min: NEWS Simon Mannering fumbles the ball whilst cleaning up inside the Kiwi in-goal and the Aussies earn another set of six through a goal line drop-out.
25 min: NEWS The Aussies get their second penalty and the Aussies opt to attack the Kiwi line.
Australia's planned move fails and they turn the ball back over to NZ.
30 min: NEWS Soliola is penalised for striping and the Kangaroos recieve a piggy back out of their own half.
32 min: NEWS The Aussies are getting frustrated now. The Kiwi's are putting the pressure on by rushing up early leaving Lockyer and Thurston with few options.
34 min: NEWS Matt King is dragged over the sideline by a strong defencive effort from Vatuvei.
36 min: TRY Australia
A brilliant piece of individual brilliance from the freak, Greg Inglis, sees Australia score their first try of the night. Inglis palmed off Stacey Jones and ran 20m without being touched before crossing the line.
New Zealand were all over Australia in the early stages of this half. Australia were left with few options thanks to a strong and fast Kiwi defence on several occasions. But it was Greg Inglis who came through for Australia and registered 4 much needed points. The match has so far lived up to it's promise - that it would be a fast and aggressive match. The second-half awaits.
KICKOFF - Australia gets the second-half underway. They will run left to right.
42 min: NEWS Shaun Berrigan throws a careless foward pass to O'Meley and gives a scrum to NZ, but they quickly turn it back over to the Aussies after a decoy runner gets an unexpected pass from Jones.
44 min: NEWS Hodges loses the ball after some great footwork and shortly after Australia are penalised for being off-side.
46 min: NEWS Kangaroos penalty after Civoniceva was lifted by two Kiwi players. They now have the ball inside the Kiwi's 20.
48 min: NEWS Brent Webb throws a ball foward almost gridiron style to his winger. Austrlia gets a scrum but Hindmarsh loses it soon after. NZ is fighting hard.
50 min: TRY New Zealand
Iosia Soliola crosses the line after a some great attacking play from the Kiwi's which put the Aussies on the back foot. Some great work from Jones, Webb and Soliola put their team infront.
Jones fails to add the extras.
New Zealand 8-6
55 min: NEWS Soliola makes a break but is tackled by a determined Thurston.
56 min: NEWS Referee Klein blows to penalties in a row to Australia. He addresses NZ skipper Wiki. Lockyer points to the posts.
57 min: PENALTY GOAL Australia
Thurston adds 2 much needed points to the scoreboard for Australia.
59 min: NEWS Brent Webb milks a penalty. NZ then lose the ball soon after but then the Aussies cant hold it either. NZ on the attack now.
62 min: NEWS Karmichael Hunt leaps in to the air and makes a great take off an ordinary Jones bomb. Aussies recieve a penalty soon after.
66 min: TRY New Zealand
Soliola dives over to score after recieving the ball from Mannering during some scrappy play. It's his second try of the night.
Jones adds 2 points.
New Zealand 14-8
69 min: VIDEO REF - A Karmichael Hunt try is controversially disallowed by the Video Refs due to obstruction. The Aussie fans are blowing up.
71 min: NEWS Cameron Smith loses the ball in the ruck. An Asotasi hand may have interfeared.
72 min: FIELD GOAL New Zealand
Stacey Jones plays it smart and takes his side out to a 7 point lead with 8mins to go. He strikes the ball nicely and it goes over.
New Zealand 15-8
75 min: TRY Australia
Greg Inglis strides over 50m to score under the posts after recieving a nice ball from Lockyer.
New Zealand 15-14
76 min: NEWS Aussies recieve a much needed penalty after sa high shot from a NZ player.
78 min: TRY Australia
Possibly one of the best centres in the world, Mark Gasnier, has saved Australia by scoring next to the posts from a good Karmichael Hunt ball and nice all-round Aussie play.
Thurston puts another 2 on the board.
The Kangaroos have pulled off a miracle. The Kiwis were almost certain winners until Gasnier crossed the line. What a game!
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Greg Inglis (Kangaroos)
2 - Iosia Soliola (Kiwis)
1 - Nathan Hindmarsh (Kangaroos)