New Zealand Kiwis stun Australian Kangaroos 26

New Zealand Kiwis stun Australian Kangaroos 26

"I hate losing", Meninga said.

The Kiwis came into the game with a new captain in Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, who was delighted with his team having inflicted Mal Meninga's first defeat as Australian coach.

The Kiwis have had to cope with high-profile retirements of their own and were beaten 36-18 by England in Michael Maguire's first Test at the helm in June, but were richly deserved winners on this occasion as a late fightback from their opponents proved in vain.

The New Zealand rugby league team say their fate lies in their owns hands as they face up to being overshadowed by Tonga in their own backyard.

"The papers tomorrow and the media tomorrow will be talking about the Kangaroos are vulnerable and we're at the stage in our transition where we have a bit of work to do. We've got a foundation now".

But the Kiwis fielded a strong side, including several players who featured in the Sydney Roosters win over Melbourne in last month's National Rugby League grand final.

"It's great that the boys got the win for the people, for everyone right around New Zealand, to turn the tide".

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Holmes's 12th try in his last four Test appearances struck fear into the hearts of New Zealand fans that the new look Kangaroos would be just as dominant as previous versions, after rookie centre Latrell Mitchell drew Jordan Rapana to create an overlap for the Cronulla star over in the third minute.

Earlier, five-eighth Luke Keary's Test debut was short-lived after he was taken off with a head knock in the 17th minute and did not return.

There were trys a-plenty, including by debutants such as Brandon Smith, the Kiwis went into a 26-12 lead and I said there was no way Australia were coming back from that.

The Kangaroos produced something out of nothing when Daly Cherry-Evans, Tom Trbojevic and Dane Gagai combined on the stroke of halftime to make it 10-8, however the Kiwis powered home in the second half.

While New Zealand dominated possession and territory in the first half, Australia began and ended the spell with tries which gave it a lead at halftime.

Some streets around Mt Smart Stadium are lined with Tongan flags and houses decked out in red and white.

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