Josh Addo-Carr and David Fifita have ignited rugby league's World Cup nines with doubles for Australia, who have avoided joining a long list of big-name upsets with a 25-12 win over the Kiwis.
After Fiji and Tonga were both shocked on Friday's opening night of the tournament, the Kangaroos made sure they had no such woes against the Kiwis at Bankwest Stadium.
Winger Addo-Carr scored both of the Roos' openers, as he scorched the touchline with a 70m run for his first and chased down a Wade Graham kick for his second.
David Fifita also starred with a typically hard run to help put Kyle Feldt over before the break, before he twice ran through the Kiwis for two of his own second-half tries.
Jamayne Isaako scored both of the Kiwis' tries, the beneficiary of a Shaun Johnson cut-out ball for his first and a jinking run from the half for his second.
It was a tough night for both New Zealand sides with the Kiwi ferns also losing their trans-Tasman clash 22-8.
Meanwhile, Samoa are in the box seat to survive the "group of death" in Pool C after flogging Fiji 32-17 and watching Tonga fall by the wayside.
Drawn with the Cook Islands, Fiji and Tonga and with only one team set to advance, Samoa were impressive.
Winger Brian To'o scored a double against Fiji, while Penrith teammates Jerome Luai and Moses Leota also crossed in the upset win.
Fiji - who were considered one of the dark horses for the tournament - looked out of sorts.
They failed to make the most of NRL leading try-scorer Maika Sivo on the left wing, waiting until the final minute to get the ball in his hands.
And when they did, he scored instantly by sprinting 70 metres down the touchline.
The result puts Fiji and Tonga in a precarious position headed into Saturday.
The star-studded Tonga were shocked 30-7 by the Cook Islands despite boasting significantly greater NRL experience.
It means the crowd favourites must win both of their games on Saturday by large margins and hope other results go in their favour if they are to reach the finals.
In Pool B, Lebanon were also shock winners, putting aside the drama of their boycotting NRL stars to beat France 12-8 in the first game of the night.
England had no such dramas against Wales in their Pool B match, winning 25-4 with former Warrior Sam Tomkins and incoming Canberra halfback George Williams starring.