2010 Australia v New Zealand Rep Game Results: Kangaroos 12 v Kiwis 8

On Friday night the Aussies maintained their mid-season test match dominance with another powerful win against the Kiwis in an entertaining opening to Melbourne’s new AAMI Park Stadium in front of over 29,450 fans.

With a new field and rainy conditions to contend with, the trans-Tasman test match was a much closer game than many had anticipated with the Kangaroos coming away with a narrow four point victory.

Australia’s win was made possible by a match double by Dragons winger Brett Morris who is always in the right place and the right time and was the only Kangaroos player to get the ball over the line, and the fact that New Zealand kicker Issac Luke was unable to convert either of his two attempts, which gave the Australians their four point winning margin.

Aside from Morris, Australia’s standout players had to be skipper Darren Lockyer who set up many of their plays and kept his team motivated till the end, and Sam Thaiday who received the Man of the Match for his impressive efforts.

It was a tense first half with the opening points not scored until over half an hour in when the Aussie’s Jamie Lyon (Manly captain) opted to kick for a penalty, booting it through the posts in the 32nd minute.

The decision to kick for the two points instead of take the set of six showed the mentality of the Kangaroos, who were obviously expecting this to be a close game, and that it was.

Seven minutes later freak try-scorer Brett Morris, playing in his fifth test match, scored the Kangaroos’ first try in the corner after pouncing on a pin-point accurate grubber by Lockyer, and they went to the break leading 6 – 0.

The time it took Australia to score had a lot to do with the fact that although they were making the breaks, they weren’t converting these into tries.

In the first half the Kangaroos also lost hooker Cameron Smith, which later proved a disaster for his NRL team the Melbourne Storm, as he hyper-extended his right shoulder, but they didn’t let the loss of a star kicker and big player stop them from winning.

With the Kiwis yet to score New Zealand came back from the break and put in another strong show, holding their own against the Aussies.

But before they could open their account the Kangaroos scored what would be their final points of the match with Morris completing his double after scooping up a ball thrown back into play by Thaiday as three Kiwis pushed him over the sideline, and Lyon converted the try to give them a total of 12 points.

No more points were accumulated for the next 20 minutes, until Jason Nightingale finally scored for the Kiwis in the 68th minute, but Luke was unable to convert so they still sat eight points behind.

When things looked all but over Junior Sa’u narrowed the final deficit with two minutes left on the clock scoring New Zealand’s second try of the night, both in the last 12 minutes, after a big run so the full-time score read 12 – 8 narrowly in favour of Australia.