Australia downs NZ 37-10 in Anzac Test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia downs NZ 37-10 in Anzac Test

By Daniel Pace 23/04/2004 10:48:51 PM Comments (0)

Australian coach Wayne Bennett talked about a baptism of fire but New Zealand coach Daniel Anderson must have felt like he'd been to hell and back following his side's second half capitulation in the Anzac Test.

The home side held an 11-10 halftime lead but scored five unanswered tries in the second stanza to emerge 37-10 victors in front of 21,557 fans attending the first trans-Tasman rugby league Test in Newcastle.

It capped off a horrible week for the Kiwis, who have been hampered by the suspension of captain Ruben Wiki, injury problems and off-field dramas.

Australian captain Darren Lockyer was simply superb and was well-assisted by halfback Craig Gower, centre Brent Tate, hooker Danny Buderus and Test debutants Joel Clinton and Nathan Hindmarsh.

The only negative for Australia was an injury to Newcastle's Timana Tahu, who tore his left hamstring in the 25th minute when he scooped up a Matt Gidley grubber to score his team's second try of the match.

"I felt a baptism of fire in the first half - it was really on for young and old," said Bennett after his first match as national coach since his caretaker role in 1998.

"It was a tough game. It'll be the same when we go to New Zealand (for the Tri-series later this year)."

Fullbacks Anthony Minichiello and Nigel Vagana had shockers for their respective countries, with Vagana the worst offender in the error count.

Lockyer said his side didn't set out to target Vagana, normally a centre, but it seemed the best option with the Kiwis boasting giant wingers Francis Meli and Lesley Vainikolo, who scored the opening try to stun the crowd.

Despite dramas involving the withdrawal of Stacey Jones from the Test squad and the NZ Warriors releasing Ali Lauiti'iti from his contract, Anderson said it was not a tough week at all.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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