As it happened: Kiwis hold their nerve to beat Kangaroos 26-24 in absolute thriller

Welcome to 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of this trans-Tasman Test between the Kiwis and the Kangaroos from Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland.

Wow, that was amazing. The Kiwis held on as Australia went for the try in the last 20 seconds. Captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, in his debut as Kiwis skipper, described the win as "surreal", saying their defence was key.

"This is the foundation we've got to build on," Watene-Zelezniak said straight after the game.

It was the first time the Kiwis had beaten Australia in three years.

Australian shipper Boyd Cordner lamented their errors, Australia made 12 to New Zealand's five.

In other stats, NZ had 89 % completion and completed nine more sets than their opponents.

Shaun Johnson is named man-of-the-match, and it's hard to argue with that. He was in everything good tonight and his kicking game, especially in the first half, was money.

80 mins: Kiwis 26 (Maumalo, Manu, Smith, Marsters, Rapana tries; Johnson 3 cons) Kangaroos 24 (Holmes, Gagai, Kafusi, Tedesco tries; Holmes 4 cons)

The Kiwis win!!!

77 mins: Kiwis 26 (Maumalo, Manu, Smith, Marsters, Rapana tries; Johnson 2 cons) Kangaroos 24 (Holmes, Gagai, Kafusi, Tedesco tries; Holmes 4 cons)

TRY! Maybe it's not over! Australia bust down the left through Mitchell and Tedesco somehow finds his way to the line. The conversion is good and it's a two point game, three minutes to go.

76 mins: Kiwis 26 (Maumalo, Manu, Smith, Marsters, Rapana tries; Johnson 2 cons) Kangaroos 18 (Holmes, Gagai, Kafusi tries; Holmes 3 cons)

TRY! Brandon Smith thinks he's scored another from dummy half but the TMO says no. At the other end Felise Kafusi crosses in the right corner. Too little too late for Australia though.

70 mins: Kiwis 26 (Maumalo, Manu, Smith, Marsters, Rapana tries; Johnson 2 con) Kangaroos 12 (Holmes, Gagai tries; Holmes con)

TRY! The Kiwis are carving them up! A wonderful one-handed short ball from Manu reaching out through the line to off-load to Rapana, who dives over in the corner! Johnson converts from the right sideline, and the Kiwis are home here. Australia need three tries, not going to happen.

62 mins: Kiwis 20 (Maumalo, Manu, Smith, Marsters tries; Johnson 2 con) Kangaroos 12 (Holmes, Gagai tries; Holmes con)

TRY! Esan Marsters has scored an amazing try for the Kiwis, in the left corner. A no doubter! Johnson set it up, changing direction with some marvellous stepping, shifts it back left and there is numbers. He's been good tonight Johnson and he converts from wide out. The Kiwis lead by eight.

60 mins: Kiwis 14 (Maumalo, Manu, Smith tries; Johnson con) Kangaroos 12 (Holmes, Gagai tries; Holmes con)

Australia behind for the first time in the game, lets see what they've got. And what they've got is the droppsies, Mitchell this time, Australia with 10 errors, NZ with just 3.

55 mins: Kiwis 14 (Maumalo, Manu, Smith tries; Johnson con) Kangaroos 12 (Holmes, Gagai tries; Holmes con)

TRY! Brandon Smith burrows over from dummy half and Johnson converts. NZ's first ever Kiwi born on Waiheke Island with a huge play. Game on.

51 mins: Kiwis 8 (Maumalo, Manu tries) Kangaroos 12 (Holmes, Gagai tries; Holmes con)

The Kiwis withstand wave after wave of Australian attack then win a penalty coming out of their own end.

46 mins: Kiwis 8 (Maumalo, Manu tries) Kangaroos 12 (Holmes, Gagai tries; Holmes con)

A tight start to the second half. The Kiwis give away a penalty but survive, as Australia ruck the ball up again. Johnson's kicking game is a bit off to start the second half. Australia win another penalty.

42 mins: Kiwis 8 (Maumalo, Manu tries) Kangaroos 12 (Holmes, Gagai tries; Holmes con)

We're underway in the second half.

40 mins: Kiwis 8 (Maumalo, Manu tries) Kangaroos 12 (Holmes, Gagai tries; Holmes con)

Gagai crosses for Australia in the last moments of the half after a Tom Trbojevic break down the right  edge. Holmes converts and its halftime.

37 mins: Kiwis 8 (Maumalo, Manu tries) Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

TRY! The Kiwis win a repeat set with another nice Johnson grubber but Australia defuse the next set and kick early in the count. NZ attack again and the skipper earns a penalty. From the re-start they spread it right and Manu crashes over. Reward for the Kiwis who have 70 per cent possession in the opening half hour. And Australia's halfback Luke Keary is done for the night. Johnson misses the kick.

32 mins: Kiwis 4 (Maumalo try) Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

Incredible stats. The Kiwis with still with 65 per cent possession, Australia's made 60 more tackles. Now the Kiwis win another penalty from the kick-off.

28 mins: Kiwis 4 (Maumalo try) Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

TRY! The Kiwis are over, Firstly, Johnson magic nearly created the Kiwis first try but he's dragged down just short. Australia are tired and this won't help, they've dropped it again bringing it out from their line. The Marty Tapau with the lovely off-load, Watene-Zelezniak with a tunnel ball through the legs and Maumalo goes in. Johnson misses the conversion.

24 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

The Kiwis win a repeat set but a forward pass out to Maumalo kills the chance. The Kiwis with 65 percent possession in the opening 20 odd minutes.

22 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

The Kiwis are penalised for lying on the ball carrier, then Damian Cook knocks on from dummy half for Aussie. The crowd likes that.

18 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

Maumalo thinks he's scored in his left corner but he's grounded it on the sideline.

17 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

Keary gets a knee in the head, it's Kevin Proctor's, and he's out cold. He's leaving the field.

16 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

This is good from the Kiwis. Now they earn a penalty, they get the off-loading game going, a loose pass but Keary knocks on. The Kiwis will come again, five out. Now another penalty.

14 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

Another repeat set for the Kiwis.

12 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

The Aussies bomb another try after another break down the Kiwis left edge, Holmes was away but the pass was forward. The Kiwis attack and earn a repeat set. A nice kick from Johnson, the crowd is into it.

8 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

Australia are just cutting NZ to pieces down their left edge. It's Latrell Mitchell again and the Kiwis are all over the place out there, it's Jordan Rapana and Joseph Manu, they haven't got their combination down at all. But Australia knock on with a try on offer, chance goes begging.

4 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 6 (Holmes try; Holmes con)

TRY! Valentine Holmes is over for an early down the left edge. It was pretty easy really, an overlap on the Kiwis 40 and its a big 2-on-1, Mitchell to Holmes and under the posts.

3 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 0

Clean start from both sides. Captain Watene-Zelezniak gets an touch, as Australia rucks it out.

1 mins: Kiwis 0 Kangaroos 0

A powerful haka from the Kiwis has the 15,000 strong crowd into it. And we're underway as the Kiwis kick off.

PRE MATCH

As a new era dawns for both the Kiwis and the Kangaroos, the two traditional rivals will meet face to face, with a host of exciting new talent on display.

With the likes of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Issac Luke and Nelson Asofa-Solomona unavailable for the Kiwis, coach Michael Maguire has named a fresh-faced side for his first home Test match in charge of the New Zealand side.

Australia meanwhile, play their first Test match since the retirements of legends of the game in Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak finds himself in charge of the Kiwis, while the Kangaroos will be led by Bord Cordner, both ascending to captaincy for the first time in their international careers.

Keep an eye on the battle between the centres - and Roosters NRL winning teammates - with Joseph Manu lining up in a mouth watering showdown against Latrell Mitchell.

TEAMS

NZ: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (c), 2. Ken Maumalo, 3. Esan Marsters, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Shaun Johnson, 7. Kodi Nikorima, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Brandon Smith, 10. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Issac Liu, 13. James Fisher-Harris.

Interchange: 14. Kenneath Bromwich, 15. Leeson Ah Mau, 16. Martin Tapau, 17. Adam Blair.

AUS: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Dane Gagai, 3. Tom Trbojevic, 4. Latrell Mitchell, 5. Valentine Holmes, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Boyd Cordner (c), 12. Felise Kafusi, 13. Josh McGuire.

Interchange: 14. Ben Hunt, 15. Jake Trbojevic, 16. Tyson Frizell, 17. Aaron Woods.


Topics

MOST
POPULAR STORIES