Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 20th Nov 2016 4:28 PM
Liverpool's Anfield was the venue for the 2016 Four Nations Final between Australia and New Zealand.

Australia called on the same starting thirteen which defeated England last week but New Zealand were without Thomas Leuluai who picked up a double-fracture of his jaw in the draw against Scotland last weekend.

The Aussies were massive bookies favourites to retain their crown, win their fourth Four Nations crown, and complete a hat-trick of wins over the last six weeks.

It took the Aussies just under three minutes to open the scoring after forcing an error from the New Zealand defence. Fast hands saw the ball move wide right for Darius Boyd to put Blake Ferguson over on the overlap. Jonathan Thurston managed to creep his conversion over the bar for 6-0.

On fourteen Australia turned defence into attack going the ninety metres after picking up a spilled ball to take one tackle before a left to right passing move which saw Josh Dugan cross. Thurston failed to add the extras but the minutes later he kicked a penalty for 12- and after some great Kiwi pressure they were already up against it.

Trent Merrin scored the third Australia try on twenty-one minutes when he took a short pass from Cameron Smith five metres from the New Zealand line to step out of a tackle to score. It was a simple conversion for Thurston to further extend the lead.

A twenty-eighth minute Thurston penalty made it 20-0 and four minutes later it was 24-0 when Dugan won the race to touch down a Thurston grubber kick. Thurston hit the post as he tried to add the extra two but the game was over as a contest.

Three minutes after the restart and Darius Boyd went twenty-metres between two tacklers to ground on the line. Thurston failed to kick the extra two but it was 'normal service resumed'.

New Zealand got off the mark on fifty-five when Jordan Kahu was the beneficiary of back-to-back penalties when he took a great offload from Kevin Proctor to score in the corner. Kahu hit the post for 28-4.

The Aussies had definitely gone off their first half boil and on sixty-eight Jordan Kahu got his second try when Australia were again penalised in their own half. Kanu again failed to convert his own try for 28-8.

Six minutes from time and Boyd Cordner managed to dive over the Kiwi defence off a Thurston pass for the fifth Australian try. Thurston kicked the extras for 34-8 to give the Aussies the second half as well as the first.

Australia dominated the final from the first to the last minute and despite New Zealand finding some position and possession for a twenty minute spell in the second half they were never a challenge for the green and gold. Australia defended their four Nations crown and as a result of this win are now ranked as the worlds number one side. They went through the competition undefeated and are worthy champions.

New Zealand: Kahu (2T), Fusitu'a, Kata, Kenny-Dowall, Rapana, Harris, Johnson, Bromwich, Luke, Blair, Proctor, Ma'u, Taumalolo. Subs: Brown, Taupau, Eastwood, Tapine.

Australia: Boyd D (T), Ferguson (T), Dugan (2T), Inglis, Holmes, Thurston (5G), Cronk, Scott, Smith, Woods, Cordner (T), Gillett, Merrin (T). Subs: Boyd S, Frizell, Klemmer, Morgan.

Referee: Ben Cummins.

Attendance: 40,042.
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