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josie andrews
Posts: 34920
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:17 pm
Location: Wigan

Re: AUS vs NZ

Post by josie andrews »

Mal Meninga could only smile when asked if Australia’s record thumping against New Zealand would spark fresh interest in Test rugby league.

“Everyone loves to see us lose,” Meninga said after the Kiwi,,,
Mal Meninga could only smile when asked if Australia’s record thumping against New Zealand would spark fresh interest in Test rugby league.

“Everyone loves to see us lose,” Meninga said after the Kiwis smashed his Kangaroos 30-0 in front of a disappointing crowd for the Pacific Championships final in Hamilton on Saturday.

“We’ve made everyone happy. But we’re competitive as well – we’re no less passionate about putting our colours on. It will shock the rugby league world in the manner we lost and the scoreline. But we’ll come back for redemption at the end of next year.”

New Zealand – and NSW Rugby League officials – would have loved watching Michael Maguire orchestrate one of the great Test boilovers against Australia. It was the Kiwis’ second win over the Kangaroos in their past 10 contests. The last victory came in 2018, which happened to be Maguire’s first game in charge.

Australia had never been on the end of such a heavy defeat. It was the first time they had been held scoreless against New Zealand since the 2005 Tri-Nations final.

“It’s an embarrassing result for Australian rugby league,” Greg Alexander said on the TV commentary.

Like it or not, but the one thing that has held the international game back is Australia’s dominance. At least this result creates a bit of a buzz moving forward.

Kiwis captain James Fisher-Harris summed it up best when he told the crowd: “I just want to say to the Kiwi boys, this is our moment, this is our group ... this is our time.”

Australia struggled for good field position and were not helped by missing so many tackles. They missed 50 tackles, compared to New Zealand’s 32.

“I can’t question effort or attitude, but we made heaps of errors. It’s a reflection of how New Zealand played, they deserved their victory,” Meninga said. “It hurts. Nobody likes losing.”

Cameron Murray (hamstring) was a late withdrawal from a Kangaroos team already missing Nathan Cleary, Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic but Meninga would have expected more.

Maguire, on the other hand, is expected to be unveiled as the new NSW Origin coach in the next fortnight, and this stunning win was a timely reminder of his ability to motivate elite players.

Ronaldo Mulitalo was the first to score when he took a lovely floating cut-out pass from Dylan Brown to dive over in the left corner. Moments earlier he had taken the ball from Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, who played the series with a painful rib injury, to put the home side on the attack.

Mulitalo, however, came up with an even greater player later in the half when he ironed out Valentine Holmes on the last tackle. Holmes went to turn in-field but was smashed from in front and driven into the ground. The Sharks star almost enjoyed the tackle more than his four-pointer.

New Zealand doubled their lead through Jamayne Isaako when they had the Kangaroos for numbers out wide on the right.

Maguire did everything to inspire the Kiwis, who were well beaten by the Kangaroos last weekend 36-18 in Melbourne.

New Zealand Rugby League officials did everything at short notice to promote the game, but can only hope there is a greater appetite from the locals next year, especially after the record

The only reason the NZRL moved the game to Hamilton was because the Test schedule was not locked in until the collective bargaining agreement was nailed down. October remains the best time to play Test football – it is foolish to suggest any other time during the year – and 12 months of promotion will help next year.

Four nations taking part rather than three will also mean there is no rest weekend during the Pacific Championships, which helps the series maintain momentum.

Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and potentially Fiji will make up the Pacific Championships next year, with international officials hopeful Samoa tour England, and Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Lebanon and potentially France round out the tier-two tournament. ... 5ehla.html
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage. #18thMan
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