Cowboy stars as Junior Kangaroos down New Zealand

Australia 24-26 New Zealand: Kiwis beat world champions in Auckland

Australia 24-26 New Zealand: Kiwis beat world champions in Auckland

Hooker Smith put the Kiwis ahead for the first time when he crashed over from dummy-half in the 54th minute for Shaun Johnson to convert, and they added two more tries from Esarn Marsters and Jordan Rapana, which came from a superb Manu offload near the corner post.

The Kiwis have had to cope with high-profile retirements of their own and were beaten 36-18 by England in Michael Maguire's first Test at the helm in June, but were richly deserved winners on this occasion as a late fightback from their opponents proved in vain.

The Bunker then became the number one enemy of the New Zealand Rugby League fans after captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was denied a try when the bunker ruled that Joseph Manu knocked the ball on in the lead up to a potential four-pointer. The Kiwis began to take advantage of the lucky breaks as they began to go downfield, both off their own steam and from the mounting penalty count against the Australians. It's only a start. "We've set the foundation now, so we've got to keep building on top of that".

The result capped a triple-header of New Zealand v Australia contests at Mt Smart Stadium, with Australia winning the earlier under 20s and women's contests.

But the Kiwis fielded a strong side, including several players who featured in the Sydney Roosters win over Melbourne in last month's National Rugby League grand final.

It was a remarkable effort for the Kangaroos to lead 12-8 at half-time given New Zealand had 69% of possession but the Kiwis dominated the second half.

Australia 24-26 New Zealand: Kiwis beat world champions in Auckland

"It feels so surreal", Watene-Zelezniak said.

Valentine Holmes and Lattrell Mitchell were a unsafe attacking combination down the left-hand side and they created Australia's first try, to Holmes, after only two minutes.

Australia mounted a desperate late attack with two tries in the closing five minutes before running out of time.

The Kiwis were near faultless in the match; they won penalties, forced dropouts and continued to build pressure on the Kangaroos.

"That's what we came here for to give the fans". The victorious New Zealanders are off to England for a three match series against England, whilst the Kangaroos finish the year off against Tonga at the same venue next Saturday.

Almirola advances with Talladega win
Larson was already in danger of being knocked out of the playoff field in next week's elimination race at Kansas. But the dynamics changed when Alex Bowman spun with three laps remaining to bring out an ill-timed caution .

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.