Topic: Rugby League

Kiwis defeat Kangaroos 26-24

By Rahia Timutimu
  • Auckland

This is Kiwis coach Michael Maguire’s first test and win with the New Zealand side and says the supporters played a pivotal part in the test-match win.

“The noise of the crowd and the supporters was something special and to hear the joy of the people is the reason why you play footy,” says Maguire.

Lead by Māori player Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, the Kiwi side scored their first try in the 27th minute.

The Kiwis were near faultless in the match; they won penalties, forced dropouts and continued to build pressure on the Kangaroos.

“We made a lot of errors,” says Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga,” we put ourselves under enormous pressure for most of the game but I’m not taking anything away from the Kiwis, they played very well.”

Joseph Manu scored the Kiwis second try and despite a late comeback from the Kangaroos in the dying seconds of the first half, NZ came back strong in the second scoring three consecutive tries.

Despite the visitors scoring with minutes to go in the match, it wasn't enough, the Kiwis winning overall by two points, much to the joy of newly appointed captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak who received a haka tautoko from his family in the crowd.

“It's definitely special and to be able to tell my kids and maybe my grandkids one day (about the match) will be special.”