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Kiwis run riot in Rotorua
Kumuls manage two tries after falling 48-0 behind by half time
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Junior Sa'u and Sam Perrett both grabbed hat-tricks to help New Zealand thump Papua New Guinea 76-12 in Rotorua.
The Kiwis followed up their 24-10 victory over England on the opening weekend of the Four Nations with a 14-try rout at the International Stadium.
The margin of victory for Stephen Kearney's side is a new record on home soil, while they ended up only eight points short of their highest ever total.
At least the totally-outclassed Kumuls did have something to celebrate thanks to second-half scores from Menzie Yere and Glen Nami.
By the time they had reached the line, though, the game was already over as a contest, New Zealand having crossed eight times in the opening 40 minutes.
Papua New Guinea had only lost 42-0 to Australia in their first fixture but this time found themselves 46 points behind by half time.
The Kiwis crossed twice inside the opening five minutes to set the tone; Perrett - who had been drafted into the team replace the injured Manu Vatuvei on the wing - breaking the deadlock out wide.
Simon Mannering also scored before Papua New Guinea had even touched the ball in attack. Having never previously scored a try for his country, Jeremy Smith touched down twice in five minutes to help pile on the points.
Nathan Fien's grubber kick set up Sa'u's first of the match before the Kumuls created their first try-scoring opportunity, new Wakefield centre Jessy Joe Parker narrowly failing to reach the ball before it struck the deadball line.
It was soon back to the script though - Lance Hohaia, Greg Eastwood and Issac Luke all adding further tries for the Kiwis before the interval.
Any idea that the home side would take their foot off the gas soon disappeared two minutes after the re-start when Sa'u crossed again.
The centre didn't waste much more time in sealing his hat-trick either, allowing Benji Marshall to kick his eighth goal before being wrapped up in cotton wool on the bench ahead of next week's clash with the Kangaroos.
New Zealand's attacking intent did seem to drop off without the presence of their influential skipper, though that didn't mean an end to the scoring.
Perrett grabbed his second before the underdogs managed to bite back with two tries in as many minutes.
Sheffield Eagles centre Menzie Yere, one of five players from the English Championship, dummied his way over to get his nation's first points.
As if that wasn't good enough, the Kumuls then managed a contender for try of the tournament. Hunslet hooker Charlie Wabo produced a clever kick over the top that led to stand-off Glen Nami finishing off the move under the posts.
Ryan Tongia kicked both conversions to make it 62-12 and suddenly New Zealand seemed to be stung back into action by conceding twice.
Perrett collected Hohaia's kick to the corner to complete his personal treble while fellow winger Jason Nightingale also went over on the opposite flank. The 14th, and final, home try came from second rower Sika Manu five minutes from time.
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|Gillette Four Nations|
|Saturday 25th October|
|00:00||Australia vs New Zealand|
|00:00||England vs Samoa|
|Saturday 1st November|
|00:00||New Zealand vs Samoa|
|Sunday 2nd November|
|00:00||Australia vs England|
|Saturday 8th November|
|00:00||New Zealand vs England|
|Sunday 9th November|
|00:00||Australia vs Samoa|
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