Oceania Cup: Australia beat New Zealand 26-4
Watch Australia take on Tonga on November 2, live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 5.30am.
By Marc Bazeley
Last Updated: 25/10/19 12:23pm
A debut try from Josh Addo-Carr helped Australia open their Oceania Cup campaign with a 26-4 victory over New Zealand at WIN Stadium on Friday.
Addo-Carr and Tyson Frizell went over to help the Kangaroos into a 12-4 lead at half-time in Wollongong, with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad's unconverted score keeping the Kiwis within touching distance.
But that proved to be the only time the visitors troubled the scoreboard, and further tries after the break from Damien Cook and James Tedesco ensured Mal Meninga's side avenged the 26-24 defeat to New Zealand in Auckland just over 12 months ago.
Victory over Tonga at Eden Park on November 2 will see Australia claim the Oceania Cup, while New Zealand head coach Michael Maguire must now pick his squad up ahead of the back-to-back Tests against Great Britain.
The lively Latrell Mitchell kicked Australia ahead with a ninth-minute penalty and was then on hand to provide the assist for winger Addo-Carr to score the opening try of the game.
Centre Mitchell came up with a superb interception from New Zealand half-back Shaun Johnson and then flicked a pass to his right for the Melbourne Storm speedster to race 60 metres to dot down under the posts for a converted try.
Sydney Roosters man Mitchell was at the centre of much of the action for Australia and a high tackle on the 22-year-old close to the line led to the home side's second try.
The Kangaroos kept the pressure on and broke through again in the 27th minute when Daly Cherry-Evans sent loose forward Frizell powering over for an unconverted score.
New Zealand hit back six minutes before the half-time hooter sounded when Australia full-back Tedesco knocked the ball into touch 10 metres from his own line and the ball was swiftly shifted out to the left for Nicoll-Klokstad to score from the resulting scrum.
Despite kicking the ball out on the full straight from the restart, the Kiwis rallied at the start of the second half. However, they were undone by a devastating counter-attack following a long spell of pressure inside Australia's 20.
With New Zealand trying to keep the ball alive on the last tackle, Australia hooker Cook showed great awareness to snaffle an attempted offloaded from Adam Blair and go the distance to score under the posts, giving Mitchell a simple conversion, on 53 minutes.
Cook was involved in the Kangaroos' fourth try five minutes later, splintering the defence after scooting from dummy-half and passing inside for Dally M player of the year Tedesco to finish off for another score converted by Mitchell.
Cherry-Evans pushed the lead out to 22 points with a penalty inside the final three minutes as the Kiwis were left to rue errors which proved costly to their chances of finding a way back into the contest.
The result made it a double for the hosts at WIN Stadium, with Australia's women having beaten New Zealand 28-8 in the first game of the day to banish memories of the previous week's defeat to the Kiwi Ferns in the World Cup Nines final.
Tallisha Harden, Ali Brigginshaw, Jessica Sergis, Kezie Apps and Shakiah Tungai - who kicked four goals as well - secured a convincing win for the Jillaroos, with New Zealand responding through Maitua Feterika and Honey Hireme-Smiler.