By Greg Robertson
Join the TV3 sports online team bringing you live updates of the epic encounter – the 4 Nations clash between the Australian Kangaroos and the New Zealand Kiwis from Eden Park, Auckland. It's the final match in the round-robin stages - a warm up for the final which will feature the same teams.
The Aussies have made wholesale changes to the team that beat the English and PNG, and the Kiwis will be out to show them no mercy.
Kick off is at 8.15PM (NZT).
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Video of the action will be put up just after halftime, then make sure you look out for the match report and highlights’ package.
FULLTIME: Australia 34 - New Zealand 20.
77 MINUTES: Changes for Australia but they're just giving players a run. Benji magic once more. Shaun Kenny-Dowall the beneficiary from Marshall's skills. Benji stood up Cooper Cronk, put on the gas and then found Kenny-Dowall on the outside. He raises the flags and its 34-20 to Australia.
75 MINUTES: Commentators are talking it up a bit saying Kiwis shouldn't be ashamed of themselves over the performance. My feeling is there is a period on defence which they should hang their heads in shame. Lot of work to do before the final in defence. They still have put the effort in, they just haven't been good enough.
73 MINUTES: Kiwis haven't given up trying. Penalty to NZ for slowing the play the ball down. Marshall does everything but score! What a player... he dance, he pranced and he had the Aussies in sixes and seven. But just as he was reaching out across come the arm of Brent Tate to knock it out. It's ruled a knock on which is fair enough. Aussie ball.
70 MINUTES: Hohaia puts up a bomn but Lote Tuqiri takes it easy. he's hardly been in the game - ball hasn't gone his way.
68 MINUTES: Kiwis playing for pride a bit but you just never know - although it would be an absolute miracle to come back from this. Benji puts up the bomb and Darius Boyd leaps and claims it one metre out but is dragged back. Drop out to Australia. Sika Manu bumps off about four. Kiwis throwing it around everywhere but it comes to nothing.
64 MINUTES: Six to one is the try count. It's not a beating it's blue murder. Then a piece of Benji Marshall magic. Wicked out the back flick from Benji and Jason Knightingale doubles round behind him to score in the corner. Marshall misses the conversion an it's 34-14 to the Aussies.
62 MINUTES: It's turning into a farce. Aussie nearly score again. The Kiwi heads are down and a grubber in behind on the angle slips past everyone. Luck there were the Kiwis. Thank god this is a dress rehearsal is what all the Kiwi fans are saying. Another punch up. Perhaps the Kiwis can win the punch ups?
58 MINUTES: Simon Mannering lifted up and driven into touch. The rub of the green is rubbing the green and the gold. But, Aussie totally deserve this and Brett Morris puts NZ to sleep at Eden Park. Too easy and not good enough. From the scrum the Kiwis forgot to number up and Morris has a free run down the touch to score.Carney convert, silences the huge crowd and Australia lead 34-10.
55 MINUTES: Instead of one point, Aussies take four. I five metre grubber from Robbie Farah fins Chris lawrence, his Tigers teammate, who rushes through to score.Todd Carney takes over the kicnking duties - nails it - and the Aussies lead 28-10.
52 MINUTES: Benji Marshall ruled offside but there's some confusion over it. The call falls the visitor's way and maybe the Aussies may shape up for the one point drop goal. Sam Thaiday is hurt but he'll get up. More push and shove.
50 MINUTES: Kiwis got a much needed penalty and Benji taps and goes and goes 40 metres, dancing all the way. Great run. Now the bird's tail is up and the Kiwis looking to produce the goods. Benji is stepping up and trying to lead his side by example. Get to the last but the up and under is knocked on so Aussie have a free play the ball.
48 MINUTES: New Zealand need to something a little special but the Kangaroos look calm and got it under control. Greg Bird breaks the line and the Kiwis defence is desperate. Poor kick allows Lance Hohaia to mop it up and take the pressure off.
46 MINUTES: What a try... perhaps to Darius Boyd. It's gone upstairs.Brett Morris tiptoes down the touchline and tosses it back inside magnificently to Boyd to score. Amazing work by the winger. It's a body blow for the Kiwis but there's still plenty left on the clock. It's not converted by Cameron Smith and it's Australia 22 - New Zealand 10.
43 MINUTE: Kiwis offside and give away the first penalty of the second half. Aussies tap and go and not far from the line. Chris Lawrence goes close in the corner, great defnce holds him back. All sorts of pressure on the New Zealand line. Cooper Cronk kicks in-goal and Kenny-Dowall can't run it out. Going to be six more for the visitors.
41 MINUTES: Calm Aussie dressing room. Kiwis were cursed by coach... saying it wasn't good enough. Good first set by the Kiwis. Only eight points in it so it's anyones for the taking.
HALFTIME: Kiwis 10 - Kangaroos 18.
40 MINUTES: Benji Marshall slots the penalty right on the halftime hooter.
39 MINUTES: The home side looks dangerous. HUGE PUNCH UP! They're coming from everywhere... Kangaroos look a little unsettled after all this pressure. It was an unfair contest - big Aussie David Shillington has a go at middleweight Isaac Luke. That started it. It's going to be a penalty against the Aussies.
35 MINUTES: This period of possession is getting the Kiwis back in the game. Benji Marshall just about set Simon Mannering but Mannering looked inside and found Australia's Dean Young. Great NZ defence. Aussie forced to kick from their 15 metre mark. Lance Hohaia returns it with interest. They get to the last and Benji grubbers it through and Darius Boyd is forced to tap it dead. Kiwis reply to the dropout with power and pace.
32 MINUTES: Last five minutes the Kiwis have had 84 percent of the ball. Kiwis firing it about but a knock on spoils the hot potato party. Really needed to get to the kick. Aussie play away from their line.
30 MINUTES: Kiwis have an overlap as Benji works some magic to create the space. He shifted it and Lote Tuquri gets the smallest of touches to disrupt a certain try. Kiwis feed to the scrum. Kiwis are flying in attack. Benji kicks but it hits a leg and tackle count restarted and then Frank 'The Tank' Pritchard gets hold of it five metres out and four Aussies had no chance in stopping him. His big arm reaches out and slams it down. Marshall lining up the extra and he lands it and the Kiwis needed that desperately. Australia 18 - New Zealand 8.
27 MINUTES: Kiwis get a penalty... something positive happened at last. Small mercies though really. They have four tackles left and are 20 metres out. Adam Blair smashes it up - testing time for the visitors. Aussie defence looks so much better organised. Kiwis grubber it through on the last and Copper Cronk is there to save the day. Aussie dropout and Kiwis get another set. Best set for the Kiwis so far.
23 MINUTES: The Kiwis are straggling with 'Australia B'. Marshall has a shocker from the kick off and thumps it into touch dead. Aussie take the openalty and are hot on attack again. Brent Tate helps himself to four points! Kiwis are in a daze... Tate takes the ball from dummy half and Sam Perrett again is the guilty party as Tate spins on him again and stretches out to score. Poor defence... but you could just see that they were going to be loose tonight. Cameron Smith lines it up - he's in no rush - and the 40,000-odd just have to watch it sail between the posts again. Kangaroos jumping up in sixes. Australia lead 18-2.
20 MINUTES: Brett 'Slippery' Morris dots down for Australia and the Kangaroos hit double digits with the kick to come. On the left, the Kiwis were up and in defence, Sam Perrett tried to jam Brent Tate but he spins and offloads and Morrise races to the corner. Cameron Smith, this time from the other side of the park, nails it. Classy. Kangaroos 12 - Kiwis 2.
19 MINUTES: Kiwis have a brain explosion from the kick off and Kangaroos are gited possession 10 metres from the line. Boyd gets and inside ball from Cronk and goes close. Some idiot has run onto the field and it's all confusion for both teams. He had a marshall jacket on but he shouldn't have been there. End result - Kiwis have to dropout from goal.
18 MINUTES: Kiwis get a penalty after Paul Gallen is lying all over the player. It stemmed from a great run by Thomas Leuluai. Benji looks at the posts 20 metres out on a slight angle and slots it. Kiwis are on the board and Austrlia lead 6-2.
14 MINUTES: Another Aussie penalty with Jeremy Smith putting in a high tackle. Where's the discipline boys?! Aussie tap and go. Kiwis defence looks a little loose now. Looks like holes could open up anytime. Smith dabs it in behind on the fourth tackle and Benji Marshall is cool under pressure and let's it run dead. Push and shove from the restart... penalty to the Kiwis for a lazy high shit which the Kiwis didn't appreciate. They kick and get the ball and six tackles at halfway.
13 MINUTES: It's all the Kangaroos at the moment and they are looking very dangerous on the fringes - as always. Last tackle and Cooper Cronk chips it... into the stands! It's overcooked and an easy one to relieve the pressure for the locals. They're a little swept off their feet at the moment.
12 MINUTES: So many stars missing from this Australian side. Nathan Fien clears it right down Darius Boyd's throat and Fien just smashed him. Aussies get up and go again without missing a beat though. They kick inside the 20 metre mark, all climb to get hold of it but it comes off Shaun Kenney-Dowall and it's a Kiwis dropout.
8 MINUTES: First penalty to the visitors in front of a massive Eden Park crowd. Good kick to touch and the green and gold get a chance to show their skills... and they score! Cooper Cronk makes sure the Kangaroos play from in front. Great offload from Paul Gallen and Cronk gives Benji Marshall a big fend to the chest and runs away to slide in. Cameron Smith adds the extras from the sideline and Australia lead 6-0.
5 MINUTES: Kiwis get to the last and kick deep and Aussie run it from their goalline - met by a reception committee. Kiwis flying up in defence. Both teams feeling each other out. Aussie get to the kick and Sam Perrett brings it back strong.
3 MINUTES: Shaun Kenny-Dowall puts the kick in but it goes dead in goal for the Kiwis. Should have put it to the air. Aussie bring the ball back solidly. Big defence from the Kiwis and the kangaroos been dropped as the wind drops to. Black and white jerseys swarm ahead.
2 MINUTES: Solid first set for Australia as they get to the kick. Kiwis get the first penalty for David Shillington carrying on with the tackle. New Zealand kicks deep and ready to apply pressure.
KICK OFF: The Kiwis sent the challenge to the Aussies loud and clear throught a brilliant new haka - "Who are you?"... the Aussies accepted the offer. Kiwis' Benji Marshall to kick off and give Australia first use of the football.
source: newshub archive