Australia 30-12 New Zealand: Kangaroos extend winning streak
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 05/05/17 1:29pm
Cameron Smith celebrated his 50th cap by leading Australia to a comfortable 30-12 win over New Zealand in the last ANZAC Test.
The Kangaroos ran in five tries to two in Canberra to continue their domination of the Kiwis, who have now suffered five straight defeats at the hands of Mal Meninga's men.
New Zealand coach David Kidwell had hoped the return of experienced trio Keiran Foran, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Simon Mannering would help his side erase the memory of their 34-8 demolition in the Four Nations final at Anfield last November but it was all too familiar as the Kangaroos showed their class.
The Kiwis trailed 30-0 before scoring tries through Mannering and Tuivasa-Sheck, both goaled by Jordan Kahu, to avoid total humiliation but the result leaves Kidwell and his assistant Steve McNamara with plenty of work to do before the World Cup.
Australia made a confident start to the match, which will revert to a one-off end-of-year international from 2018, with two tries inside the first 16 minutes.
Centre Josh Dugan opened the scoring when he plucked the ball out of the air to touch down Johnathan Thurston's crossfield kick and winger Blake Ferguson added a second after intercepting a Shaun Johnson pass close to his own line and sprinting unopposed to the other end of the field.
Thurston made it 12-0 with the conversions but the Kiwis threatened to get back into the contest when Tuivasa-Sheck was held up over the line and winger Jordan Rapana had try disallowed for a forward pass.
Australia were far more clinical, in contrast, and had the game sewn up by half-time after centre Will Chambers finished off a break by substitute Sam Thaiday and former Wales forward Tyson Frizell grabbed a try after Thurston's kick rebounded back off a post.
Leading 24-0 at the break, the hosts extended their advantage through substitute Jake Trbojevic, with Thurston kicking his fifth conversion, before relaxing their grip and cantering to the finish line.
The only disappointment for Australia was the loss of Dugan with a suspected fractured cheekbone.