Kiwis thump Lions 34-4 in Tri-Nations - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kiwis thump Lions 34-4 in Tri-Nations

11/11/2006 08:13:24 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand has kept its Tri-Nations defence alive with a 34-4 thumping of Great Britain at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Needing a win to give themselves any chance of reaching the November 25 final against Australia, the Kiwis put the Nathan Fien eligibility debacle behind them with a six tries to one win over the Lions.

Great Britain must now defeat Australia at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane next Saturday to qualify for the final, while a Kangaroos victory ensures the Kiwis get a re-match of the 2005 final.

Kiwis halfback Stacey Jones orchestrated the home side's impressive victory in another starring performance in the black No.7 jersey.

Jones put fullback Brent Webb across for two first half tries that gave New Zealand a 16-4 lead at halftime.

The clever playmaker put the result beyond doubt 15 minutes after the break, setting up two tries for a 28-4 lead.

Nathan Cayless touched down in the 50th minute when Jones' chip kick took a cheeky bounce in the in-goal and then five minutes later a swift backline move resulted in winger Manu Vatuvei running around under the uprights.

Skipper Ruben Wiki then benefited from a second sneaky Jones' chip, this time the ball bouncing back into the prop's hands off the cross bar to seal the result.

While the Kiwis dominated the match the Lions had started with plenty of fire.

An all-in-brawl threatened to erupt less than 10 minutes after kick off when New Zealand centre Steve Matai objected to some rough treatment in a tackle and threw the ball at five-eighth Danny McGuire.

Lions centre Keith Senior rushed in and threw a punch at Matai, players from both sides embroiled in a brief push and shove.

Matai and Senior then both squared off seconds later, head-to-head and eyeballing each other prompting Australian referee Paul Simpkins to give both players a 10-minute breather to cool off.

Kiwis five-eighth Nigel Vagana restored order immediately after barging his way over from close range while Webb's first try in the 16th minute extended the home side's advantage.

Lions second-rower Gareth Ellis strolled over in the 20th after Vatuvei spilt a simple bomb, putting the visitors back into the contest at 10-4.

Great Britain was unfairly denied a try by the video referee just before halftime when it was ruled, after extensive slow-motion video review, wing Gareth Raynor had fumbled a grubber over the line.

The Lions now have just seven days to re-group and beat tournament favourites Australia, as they did last week in Sydney, to make the Tri Nations final.

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