Aussies beat NZ 28-12 in Centenary Test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies beat NZ 28-12 in Centenary Test

09/05/2008 11:25:51 PM Comments (0)

Australia maintained their stranglehold on international rugby league but gritty New Zealand offered hope that this year's World Cup may not be a one-horse race as the Kangaroos notched a 28-12 win in tonight's Centenary Test at the SCG.

On an evening tinged with sadness following news of the passing of super coach Jack Gibson, Australia opened the second century of Tests between the two countries much like they finished the last with a display of sublime skill and lethal efficiency.

And with surviving members of the Team of the Century watching on from the stands, Greg Inglis orchestrated a late nomination for try of the century to open the match on a stunning note.

In a spectacular display of athleticism, Inglis fumbled a kick before miraculously recovering to flick it over his head as he sailed over the dead-ball line and into the waiting hands of Mark Gasnier for an amazing five-pointer.

Unfortunately for the 34,571 fans who packed the SCG, the try was a rare highlight.

The Kangaroos proceeded to pile on another three soft tries to make it 22-0 after as many minutes.

The Kiwis battled gamely as they put the brakes on the Australian juggernaut, the visitors outscoring the home side after the break but, by then, the contest was as good as done.

"I think our last 60 minutes showed what we can do. We've just got to build on that for the World Cup," said Kiwi superstar Sonny Bill Williams, who was largely held in check for much of the first half before providing the pass for Iosia Soliola's 43rd-minute try.

"We tried our best but that first 20 they got on top of us. It just shows how lethal they are. They scored four quick tries on us."

Australian coach Ricky Stuart lauded Inglis's freakish effort and congratulated his side of a job well done.

"It's not just the athletic ability of Greg," Stuart marvelled.

"But just his instinctive knowledge knowing as he took the ball from a foot inside the dead-ball line to be able to go in the air, regain and then throw it knowing the fact that he couldn't touch the ground before the release is the reason why we love watching Greg Inglis play.

"We came here to get a job done tonight and it happened.

"We wanted to start the game well and we did that, completing over 90 per cent of our sets in the first 20 minutes and it got us off to a good start.

"It was probably the determining factor in the game."

Inglis's early heroics obviously stunned the Kiwis, for it could be their only defence for the effort they put in as they allowed the Australians to run riot early.

Gasnier secured his double down a narrow blind side before Paul Gallen celebrated his Test debut with a short-range effort.

The Kiwis may have been a touch unlucky when Kangaroos skipper Cameron Smith received the benefit of the doubt on a double movement from the video referee as burrowed over from dummy half.

A repeat of the 58-0 scoreline from the last time these two side met in October last year again looked on the cards, but the Kiwis refused to lie down.

Soliola's 40-metre run after the break gave the Kiwis some hope, but any chance they had of mounting an unlikely comeback was extinguished when a Soliola pass sailed off Sam Perrett's fingertips and over the sideline with the line wide open.

Australia made them pay when a Thurston kick found Justin Hodges out wide, the Brisbane ace unselfishly passing for Israel Folau to confirm the win, Perrett making up for his earlier gaffe with a try on the bell.

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