Kangaroos inflict Canberra carnage on underwhelming Kiwis

The Kiwis have been humbled 30-12 by a rampant Kangaroos side in this year's Anzac Test in Canberra.

New Zealand put in a woeful display in the first half, going into the break 24-0 down, before outscoring Australia in the second half to restore some pride in the loss.

FULLTIME: NZ 12 AUS 30

Boyd puts a kick through for Holmes as the siren goes. The winger gets there and claims the try. He was out as he grounds the ball. No try to end the match.

77 mins: NZ 12 AUS 30

Fifita claims a try for the Kangaroos, after diving on a kick through late on. The bunker checks it to find that he's lost the ball in-goal for a Kiwis restart.

75 mins: NZ 12 AUS 30

The Kiwis have a chance after a burst from Foran, he gets the ball back and kicks on the last. Ferguson soars above to win the turnover for the Kangaroos.

70 mins: NZ 12 AUS 30

An attempted 40-20 from Cronk goes over the sideline to give the Kiwis a scrum in front of their own 20m line as we enter the last 10 minutes of the Test match.

66 mins: NZ 12 AUS 30

TRY! Tuivasa-Sheck scores! The Kiwis fullback goes over after some quick hands from his Warriors teammates. He ties the Kangaroos defenders in knots to go over in the corner. Kahu with his second kick of the night. He's got it, the Kiwis aren't giving up without a fight.

61 mins: NZ 6 AUS 30

Jordan Rapana comes up with the most unreal bit of skill to keep the ball in play after spilling a kick from Johnathan Thurston, Australia with the ball in a good field position. The ball goes dead from Thurston's kick on the last.

57 mins: NZ 6 AUS 30

TRY! Have the Kiwis scored? Johnson and Foran combine to put Mannering through. Cronk and Trbojevic manage to tackle him and possibly hold him up in goal. Referee checks with the bunker, the try is good! New Zealand finally on the board through the former skipper. Jordan Kahu with the kick he's got it.

55 mins: NZ 0 AUS 30

Johnson kicks through on the last tackle, Boyd gets the ball but slips over. He's tackled to force a line dropout in the Kiwis' favour.

54 mins: NZ 0 AUS 30

Shaun Johnson wins a penalty he slices through the Kangaroos line, he throws the ball back in the tackle, but an offside Frizell claims it.

52 mins: NZ 0 AUS 30

Foran puts a kick over the top for Kahu and Watene-Zelezniak to chase, Boyd gets there first for the Kangaroos to try and launch a counter attack from inside their own half.

49 mins: NZ 0 AUS 30

Josh Dugan leaves the field after picking up an injury. He limps down the tunnel for what should be the end of his night.

46 mins: NZ 0 AUS 30

TRY! The Kangaroos start the second half the way they ended the first. Trbojevic crashes over after a run from dummy-half. Thurston with the kick, it's good!

41 mins: NZ 0 AUS 24

We're underway in the second half, Cameron Smith kicks off to start the second half.

HALFTIME: NZ 0 AUS 24

Johnson throws a forward pass to Whare to bring the first half to an end. The Kangaroos on top in Canberra.

39 mins: NZ 0 AUS 24

Taumalolo goes close for the Kiwis but he loses the ball! Trbojevic snatches the loose ball for the Kangaroos.

38 mins: NZ 0 AUS 24

Australia going for another try before the break now, before Sam Thaiday loses the ball in the tackle. Kiwis scrum.

36 mins: NZ 0 AUS 24

Australia go close on the fourth tackle, Thurston puts a kick through on the last, Mannering misses it completely. It hits the upright before Frizell pounces for another Kangaroos try. Sloppy from the Kiwis. Thurston with the kick from right in front, he's got it easily.

34 mins: NZ 0 AUS 18

The Kiwis trying to work their way back upfield now, they can't concede any more before the break if they've got any hope of turning this game around.

32 mins: NZ 0 AUS 18

Gillett breaks through the Kiwis' line now! He gets the pass away to Ferguson who sprints away to grab another for Australia! The referee wants to check with the bunker, has Ferguson stayed in? He's gone out! The Kiwis get lucky there. No try.

30 mins: NZ 0 AUS 18

TRY! Sam Thaiday cuts straight through the Kiwis line. Chambers gets the ball from the next play and he dances over to score another for Australia! Tapau and Blair miss the tackle that allows the Kangaroos over again. Thurston with the kick, he's got it.

27 mins: NZ 0 AUS 12

Tuivasa-Sheck goes close but is is held up in goal! Ten metre restart for the Kiwis. Johnson finds Rapana with a clever tap, Rapana scores! Or has he? The referee deems it a forward pass. The Kiwis' attacking effort amounts to nothing.

25 mins: NZ 0 AUS 12

The Kiwis with another set after a penalty, Johnson puts a kick through on the last. Proctor can't get there, but he does make the tackle to force another dropout. Good pressure from the Kiwis.

22 mins: NZ 0 AUS 12

Packer fet's the Kiwis close on the fourth tackle. Foran puts a kick through on the last tackle, Holmes kicks the ball dead to force a dropout.

21 mins: NZ 0 AUS 12

Cameron Smith with a massive kick downfield from the next set. Tuivasa-Sheck fields at the back cleans up. Josh Dugan gives away a penalty for the Kiwis.

18 mins: NZ 0 AUS 12

The Kiwis spine combine to give Rapana the ball, he's tackled short of the line, the Kiwis recycle the ball, but Ferguson intercepts! Blake Ferguson runs the length of the field to score the Kangaroos' second try of the night. Thurston with another kick, and it's good! Kangaroos double their lead.

16 mins: NZ 0 AUS 6

Johnson puts a kick through on the last tackle, Thurston gets back in goal and pats the ball away for a Kangaroos dropout. 

14 mins: NZ 0 AUS 6 

Fifita knocks on from the next kick off! Scrum to the Kiwis now in a brilliant position.

13 mins: NZ 0 AUS 6

TRY! The next set sees Australia with another good opportunity. Thurston kicks on the last, Dugan manages to soar above the Kiwis defence and put the ball down and score. Referee wants to check with the bunker. It's all good, Kangaroos break the deadlock in Canberra. Thurston lines up the kick, he's got it with no trouble.

12 mins: NZ 0 AUS 0

The Kangaroos throw the ball around, Thurston and Cronk put Boyd away, who passes back in to Holmes who loses the ball in the tackle! Both sides playing well early on, still no score.

10 mins: NZ 0 AUS 0

Kieran Foran's bought down in goal after a good set from the Kangaroos, line dropout for the Kiwis now.

9 mins: NZ 0 AUS 0

Shaun Johsnon steps through the Kangaroos line! He gets an offload away to Rapana, he puts a kick through but there's too much on it, the ball goes dead. Good start so far from the Kiwis.

7 mins: NZ 0 AUS 0

Rapana goes on a darting run before being bought down by two defenders, Mannering gets the ball next tackle and makes another strong run. Kieran Foran kicks on the last, Will Chambers takes it to keep the Kangaroos safe.

4 mins: NZ 0 AUS 0

The Kiwis waste their first real attacking chance. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck stabs a kick through that none of the Kiwis can get to before it goes out of play.

2 mins: NZ 0 AUS 0

The Kangaroos kick deep at the end of their first set. The Kiwis field it and Taumalolo makes a strong run. Valentine Holmes loses the ball in the tackle to give the Kiwis a scrum 40m out.

KICK OFF: NZ 0 AUS 0

We're away! The Kiwis kick off to get things started in Canberra.

10:04pm

Kick off just moments away here in Canberra, Jesse Bromwich leads one final team huddle after the haka.

10:02pm

The anthems are done and dusted, now for the haka.

9:58pm

Jesse Bromwich leads the Kiwis out onto the field. Cameron Smith and the Kangaroos are out next. The anthems of New Zealand and Australia will be played now.

9:55pm

Both sides back in the sheds after their pre game warm-ups. They'll get the final messages from their coaches before coming back out for kick off. A steady crowd building up in Canberra.

PRE MATCH

After losing 34-8 the last time these two sides met in the Four Nations final at Anfield in 2016, the Kiwis come into this fixture with what on paper appears to be their strongest line up for a number of years.

The all-Warriors spine of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke will be looking to replicate their club form on the international stage, while the return of barnstorming prop Russell Packer has many across the ditch shaking in their boots.

The Kangaroos will be sweating on the fitness of superstar five-eighth Johnathan Thurston, who comes into this fixture under an injury cloud, with a calf strain troubling the North Queensland captain for the past few weeks.

This could be the last time we see the two sides meet in the traditional Anzac Test, with the Australian Rugby League deeming not enough room in the calendar to accomodate this fixture from 2018 onwards.

The veteran agreed having the same spine at the Warriors for the Kiwis will definitely boost their side's chances in the ANZAC Test. Source: 1 NEWS

TEAMS

Kiwis: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Dallin Watene Zelezniak, 3. Jordan Kahu, 4. Dean Whare, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Jesse Bromwich (c), 9. Issac Luke, 10. Russell Packer, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Simon Mannering, 13. Jason Taumalolo.

The Kiwis and Warriors playmakers said they began the tradition back in 2014 during their Four Nations tournament. Source: 1 NEWS

Reserves: 14. Adam Blair, 15. Martin Tapau, 16. Kenny Bromwich, 17. Kodi Nikorima.

Kangaroos: 1. Darius Boyd, 2. Blake Ferguson, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Will Chambers, 5. Valentine Holmes, 6. Johnathan Thurston, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Cameron Smith (c), 10. David Klemmer, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Trent Merrin.

Reserves: 14. Michael Morgan, 15. Jake Trbojevic, 16. Tyson Frizell, 17. Sam Thaiday.


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Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy defends Storm from Sharks 'grubs' attack

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says Cronulla's verbal attack on his team is laughable, adding further spice to their NRL preliminary final tomorrow night.

The AAMI Park clash is threatening to erupt after barbs were launched this week from the Sharks, prompting Bellamy to defend his team today.

Sharks prop Matt Prior claimed the Storm practised ugly, niggling tactics.

"Most other clubs in the competition would be sitting back laughing about them calling us grubs," Bellamy said.

"They're trying to make out they're holier-than-thou and they're the squeaky- clean Sharks.

"Well, we all know better than that."

No love has been lost between the two sides since Cronulla's drought-breaking 2016 grand final win, with the Sharks dominating Melbourne since.

Bellamy said the Storm needed to put the blinkers on and focus on playing their own game.

"Whatever that record is we haven't had the best of it but the games have always been close," he said.

Craig Bellamy coach of the Melbourne Storm. Source: Photosport

"We haven't changed things too much, some of our starts have been pretty poor when we've played them but we need to stick to what works for us and stick to the plan."

The Storm were preparing for Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen to play in the grand final qualifier despite a serious shoulder injury.

Gallen's inclusion will set the scene for another round with Storm centre Will Chambers, who was suspended for a grapple tackle on the Sharks forward earlier in the season.

Chambers hasn't played for the past month due to a three-match ban with his Storm coach saying he wanted controlled aggression from the Test and State of Origin centre.

"He's been training hard so hopefully he will be OK," Bellamy said.

"He's played a lot of big games, it's not like he's a 21-year-old coming in.

"Hopefully he's learnt from a couple of games this year when he's been suspended.

"We don't need that from him.

"We need him to go and get his job done and be aware when it's the right time to do certain things and when it's the wrong time."

Billy Slater. Vodafone Warriors v Melbourne Storm, NRL Rugby League round 19, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. 22 July 2018. Copyright Image: Renee McKay / www.photosport.nz
The Storm celebrate in their 12-6 win over the Warriors. Source: Photosport


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'We went away from game plan' - Warriors women eager to bounce back in must win Broncos match

The Warriors women face a tough task ahead of them tomorrow night, as they come up against premiership leaders the Brisbane Broncos in Melbourne in a must win match to keep their finals hopes alive.

Warriors hooker Krystal Rota says her team have learned from their Dragons 22-10 loss in Sydney last week and that her side need to return to what worked for them in their round one win over the Roosters.

"I just think we went away from game plan," said Rota.

"The first game we stuck to our game plan and defensive structures, when we played the Dragons we went away from that and obviously it didn't work for us."

The Warriors have to win tomorrow night's game by a big margin, to secure themselves a spot in next week's grand final.

Onjeurlina Leiataua on attack. Roosters v Warriors, NRL Holden Women's Premiership.  ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia. 8th Sept 2018. Copyright Photo: David Neilson / www.photosport.nz
Warriors women player Onjeurlina Leiataua on attack against the Sydney Roosters. Source: Photosport


The Brisbane Broncos women are undefeated in the competition and are guaranteed a spot in the final.

Warriors hooker Krystal Rota believes her side will learn from their 22-10 loss to the Dragons as they prepare for Brisbane tomorrow night in Melbourne. Source: Te Karere

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Jared Waerea-Hargreaves says Roosters in fine form without enforcer Dylan Napa ahead of NRL finals

The numbers show Jared Waerea-Hargreaves won't rest without front-row starting partner Dylan Napa, but the Sydney Roosters hard man insists it's not a one-man job to uphold a perfect record without the Queenslander this year.

The Roosters will play without Napa for a third straight game in Saturday night's grand-final qualifier against South Sydney, after he was suspended last month for the knock out blow on Brisbane's Andrew McCullough.

Having battled injuries both during and after Queensland's State of Origin campaign before the latest suspension, Napa has missed six games this year - of which the Roosters have won all six.

And he largely has Waerea-Hargreaves to thank for it up front.

The Kiwi prop's top three running games this year have all come while Napa has been missing for either all or the majority of those games, including his herculean 215-metre effort against Penrith in round 15 when his Queensland front row partner had left the field early.

But he maintained it wasn't just he who had stood up this year during any absence in the pack.

"Obviously when you have players like Napa, Sio Siua (Taukeiaho), Zane (Tetevano) in the team with experience, you share the workload," he said.

"When you get these younger boys and they don't play as much time, obviously statistically you are going to do more work because you are out there longer.

"But we have guys in the team like (bench forwards) Lindsay (Collins), (Nat) Butcher and Ryan Matterson that I've really enjoyed their growth this year."

"To see them grow with the confidence they have now 26 rounds in, you build that relationship and trust."

Waerea-Hargreaves and the Roosters' pack have had their help too in terms of the territorial battle.

Cooper Cronk is ranked second in the league for average kick metres, while the 688 metres he booted against Cronulla in week one of the finals was the most by any player in any game this year according to Fox Sports Stats.

Blake Ferguson and James Tedesco are also the NRL's two leading metre-eaters in the competition this year, while Daniel Tupou is ranked sixth to make for the best running and most powerful back three in the NRL to kickstart their sets.

"For myself and Fergo we just love doing it," Tupou said.

"We know it helps the forwards out and puts them on the front foot.

"That helps out not just the forwards but the whole team, especially with Cooper and his kicking game."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves runs the ball during a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at Kippax Lake Oval on September 18, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves runs the ball during a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at Kippax Lake Oval in Sydney. Source: Getty


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'The public's only heard one side of the story' - Bunnies coach defends Sam Burgess over ongoing sexting scandal

South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold says people will soon be able to make up their mind on the sexting scandal that has embroiled Sam Burgess, claiming they had only heard one side of the story.

Seibold was also adamant the off-field controversy had only made the Rabbitohs tougher ahead of Saturday night's NRL preliminary final against Sydney Roosters.

The NRL integrity unit's probe into allegations lewd images were sent to a young woman from one of Burgess' social media accounts are expected to conclude by Thursday despite reports of a setback.

An emotional Burgess addressed the scandal on Tuesday, repeatedly saying he would be "happy for the truth to come out" without going into specifics.

Seibold echoed Burgess' thoughts after saluting his team's resilience for overcoming the off-field distraction in their dramatic 13-12 semi-final win over St George Illawarra.

The allegations were made public on the eve of the Rabbitohs' clash with the Dragons although the alleged incident occurred back in May.

"The public has only heard one side of the story," Seibold told Sky Sports Radio.

"The investigation will hopefully conclude today or tomorrow and then people can make up their own mind on the story that has been out there.

"Obviously it wasn't ideal having the club on the front page and being the lead story on most of the news agencies across the country on Friday and Saturday last week but I thought the guys showed a lot of resolve."

The Rabbitohs may be expecting a verdict before the grand final qualifier however reports suggest the NRL's investigation hit a snag.

Fairfax reported the woman at the centre of the allegations had refused to speak with investigators from both the Rabbitohs and the NRL when contacted while on holiday in South Africa.

Either way, Seibold said the ongoing scandal compounded by back to back one point finals finishes had only steeled his side ahead of their clash with the minor premiers.

South Sydney No.7 Adam Reynolds' three field goals helped the Rabbitohs pull off a stunning one point win over the Dragons a week after falling short 29-28 to Melbourne in a qualifying final.

"I think the hard football is making us tougher," Seibold said.

"And we've shown we can handle pressure. I think we have shown a lot of resolve and resilience.

"We are not fatigued by any means. We are really confident heading into the Roosters game."

Sam Burgess of the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Source: Photosport


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