Four Nations  Saturday 13th November 2010  Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane  Att:

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Billy Slater

Brent Tate

GOAL SCORERS:

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Nathan Fien

Jason Nightingale

Shaun Kenny-Dowall

GOAL SCORERS:

Benji Marshall

Benji Marshall

Full Report

Match Official:

New Zealand are Four Nations champions after a Benji Marshall inspired try granted them a 16-12 win over Australia in one of the greatest Test matches in recent memory.

Australia looked to have the game won as time ticked down, but Marshall, the engineer of all three Kiwi tries, had other ideas sending Jason Nightingale down the line, recollecting the inside pass and then throwing a no-look pass for Nathan Fien to carry under the posts.

With brutal defense, moments of attacking brilliance, momentum shift after momentum shift, and some good old fashioned fisticuffs, the match in front of 36,299 at Suncorp Stadium had it all.

Australia opened the scoring in just the fourth minute and through the opening 15 looked a class above, but the Kiwis were courageous in the extreme and fought back with everything they had.

The Kangaroos were valiant in defeat, and after losing Luke Lewis to ankle ligament damage 20 minutes in, and Brent Tate to a knee injury at half time, they just didn't have the power to stay with visitors.

The forwards from both side were heroic all night long, with the high-impact collisions coming for the entire 80 minutes.

The win for New Zealand is their first against Australia since their 2008 World Cup triumph at the same ground.

The Kiwis had made clear their intention to start fast and aggressive, but the plan went to pieces just minutes in.

After being allowed to play on after Brett Morris clearly put a foot on the line, Darren Lockyer rolled a grubber into the in-goal where Lance Hohaia made a mess of a regulation clean-up and Brent Tate was on hand to ground the first try of the night.

Smith made no mistake with the sideline conversion and when Cooper Cronk nailed a 40/20 soon after it looked like being a long night for the visitors.

The opportunities were coming thick and fast down the right-hand flank and the hosts could easily have gone further ahead if not for an errant pass over the sideline from Billy Slater.

The first signs of trouble for Australia came a quarter of the way through the game, when Luke Lewis hobbled off with ligament damage to his ankle.

Soon after, Tate began to limp as well, and although he toughed it out until half-time, it was clear he was struggling and it was little surprise when the news came through that he would be in for yet another trip to the surgeon's table.

The possession and field position was all in Australia's favour through the opening 25-minutes, but the Kiwis were hanging in with some strong defence.

When the New Zealand finally had some ball of their own, the hits from Australia were great to watch, with Paul Gallen and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs setting the pace.

But the Kiwis were well in the contest, holding out everything the Roos were throwing and beginning to answer with some initiative in attack.

Finally earning some time in opposition territory, the New Zealanders began to threaten, and after Simon Mannering first went close to pushing over, it was Shaun Kenny-Dowall who went in to level the scores in the 36th minute.

The Kiwi captain had been quiet through the opening stages, but he was pure class in taking the ball to the line and then finding his centre hitting the hole.

All of a sudden it was the visitors on top, and showing plenty of emotion as the two sides rounded out a physical first half with a good old-fashioned all-in brawl after the hooter.

Marshall came out in the second half looking to run the ball, and the five-eighth was immediately had the home side on red alert when he ran on the fifth, broke the line and nearly had Sam Perret in with his grubber on the run.

The Kiwis were going for broke and after Isaac Luke made another break they matched their offensive efforts with some brilliant pack tackling.

But the Australians weren't about to lie down and take another finals defeat from the New Zealand, and the forwards were charging the line with reckless abandon.

Eventually Australia reclaimed the lead when Greg Bird made a break down the left and the ever-present Billy Slater was on hand to take the offload and find the line.

Greg Bird was in the action again soon after, when he pushed Jeremy Smith to the ground off the ball and the teams came together to try their fists once again.
The Kiwis were given the penalty, and then a couple more as they came close to the Australian line, but the Roos were holding firm as the visitors appeared to be tiring.

But having spent so much time camped on the line, the breakthrough had to come, and again it was Marshall orchestrating his men, ghosting in a perfectly weighted grubber for Nightingale.

The skipper's brilliance looked to be undone when he hit the upright with the attempted conversion 15 meters in from the sideline.

Marshall was out to make amends and he gave his side yet another chance to hit the lead when he hoisted a long bomb that Slater couldn't handle.

The Roos held out from the following set, but just as it appeared the match was over, the Kiwis pulled it out with their miraculous last ditch effort.

Match Action

  • 79m
    goal

    Benji Marshall

    New Zealand

  • 79m
    try

    Nathan Fien

    New Zealand

  • 71m
    try

    Jason Nightingale

    New Zealand

  • 58m
    try

    Billy Slater

    Australia

  • 58m
    goal

    Cameron Smith

    Australia

  • 36m
    goal

    Benji Marshall

    New Zealand

  • 36m
    try

    Shaun Kenny-Dowall

    New Zealand

  • 3m
    try

    Brent Tate

    Australia

  • 3m
    goal

    Cameron Smith

    Australia