Four Nations 2014: New Zealand stun Australia with superb victory

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
Shaun Johnson
Shaun Johnson put in a superb performance for New Zealand
Four Nations
Australia (12) 12
Tries: Scott, Inglis
Goals: Smith (2)
New Zealand (12) 30
Tries: Proctor, Brown, Johnson, Whare, Nightingale
Goals: Johnson (5)

New Zealand shocked Australia in the Four Nations with a resounding 30-12 victory in Brisbane that ended the hosts' 16-match winning run.

Beau Scott put Australia in front early on but New Zealand hit back through Kevin Proctor's strong run and finish.

Greg Inglis regained the lead for the home side with a flying effort, but Lewis Brown's try levelled the contest.

Superb Shaun Johnson and Dean Whare tries put New Zealand ahead, and Jason Nightingale's score sealed the win.

The world champions suffered a number of withdrawals ahead of the tournament, with Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston amongst those to pull out through injury, and they were sorely missed as the green and golds lost a Test match for the first time since the 2010 Four Nations final against the same opposition.

This encounter at the Suncorp Stadium was a repeat of the 2013 World Cup final where the Kangaroos demolished New Zealand 34-2, but the visitors, guided by the impressive Johnson, gained revenge in spectacular fashion.

It sets up an intriguing contest for Australia in Melbourne next weekend, as they face England who defeated Samoa earlier in the day, knowing that another loss would end any chance of reaching the final in Wellington.

Remaining Four Nations fixtures
1 November: New Zealand v Samoa (Whangarei, New Zealand)
2 November: Australia v England (Melbourne, Australia)
8 November: New Zealand v England (Dunedin, New Zealand)
9 November: Australia v Samoa (Wollongong, Australia)

Australia opened the scoring in the fourth minute though Scott who was found by Cooper Cronk.

New Zealand had the chance to respond soon after but Jason Nightingale fumbled the ball in attempting to touch down.

The Kiwis did manage to get their first points through Proctor whose determination and drive allowed him to score from Johnson's pass.

But the Aussies quickly regained the lead as Inglis, playing at full-back in-place of Slater, flung himself over the try-line from dummy half.

Stephen Kearney's men then levelled it up as Brown ran across the right edge of the Australian defence to score for 12-12 at half-time.

New Zealand took the lead for the first time in the second period as crafty scrum-half Johnson collected his own grubber kick to touch down after Greg Eastwood laid the platform with a powerful run.

They went further in front when Whare out-jumped the Aussie defence, catching the ball to score from Kieran Foran's inch-perfect kick.

And Nightingale made up for his earlier error by going over in the corner to leave Australia scoreless in the second period and give New Zealand a comfortable win.

Australia: Inglis, Mansour, Jennings, Walker, Tupou, Cherry-Evans, Cronk, Woods, Smith, Thaiday, Scott, Hoffman, Bird

Replacements: Farah, Guerra, Papalii, Parker, Cordner, Klemmer, Mata'utia

New Zealand: Hiku, Nightingale, Kenny-Dowall, Whare, Watene-Zelezniak, Foran, Johnson, Bromwich, Leuluai, Blair, Mannering, Proctor, Taumalolo

Replacements: Brown, Eastwood, Taupau, Harris, Matagi

New Zealand
New Zealand performed the traditional haka ahead of the match
Australia celebrate
Australia may have thought they were in for another routine victory after Beau Scott's early opener
Jason Nightingale
Jason Nightingale missed a glorious try-scoring opportunity in the first half
Kevin Proctor
Kevin Proctor set New Zealand on their way to a surprise victory

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