Inglis Scores as Australia Proves Too Strong for New Zealand - ANZAC Test, 2013

Rabbitohs fullback Greg Inglis has scored his 20th international try in Australia's 32-12 victory over New Zealand in front of 25,628 Rugby League supporters at Canberra Stadium in the ANZAC Test match tonight (Friday).


Inglis was dangerous every time he touched the ball throughout the match, with South Sydney and Kiwis hooker Issac Luke one of the best players on the field in a busy performance for the black and whites tonight.


The Kangaroos mounted pressure early and it paid dividends with halfback Cooper Cronk scoring in the sixth minute of play. Cronk took on the line and offloaded to prop Matt Scott. Scott then drew the defence and offloaded back to Cronk who strolled over under the posts. Cameron Smith converted to take the scores to six-nil.


Both sides then got involved in the proverbial arm-wrestle, throwing everything they had at each other and not giving any advantage to the opposition.


The Kiwis looked the stronger side throughout the half, being denied tries by the video referee on no less than three occasions, but the Kangaroos' defence would eventually crack as the half time siren was sounding.


The Kiwis were tossing the ball about in the lapsing seconds of the half, with the Steeden eventually landing in the hands of one of the biggest forwards on the field, Frank Pritchard. Pritchard put a grubber into the in-goal which South Sydney and City Origin halfback Adam Reynolds would have been proud of, but the ball looked to be covered by Australian fullback Billy Slater. Slater tried, but failed, to bat the ball dead in-goal, and Kiwis opposite Josh Hoffman pounced on the loose ball to score. Shaun Johnson converted to level the scores at six-all at the break.


Both sides were defending very strongly, protecting their respective goal lines with vigour.


Issac Luke was busy in the first half making 19 tackles and zero missed tackles as New Zealand's top defender of the first 40 minutes, and Australian centre and Rabbitohs fullback Greg Inglis looked classy with his limited opportunities with ball-in-hand, opening up the Kiwis late in the half with one of his trademark long breaks down the left side of the field.


It was that man Greg Inglis who was the first to score in the second half, giving the Australians a 12-6 lead following Cameron Smith's conversion. In the 51st minute of play, the ball hit the deck a number of times with the Kiwis knocking down two desperate Australian passes. The final pass from Billy Slater was knocked down by New Zealand winger Sam Perrett, with the ball rolling in-goal. Hoffman failed to dive on the ball, allowing 'GI' to get under his guard, diving on the ball for his 20th four-pointer in the green and gold from 23 appearances.


The Aussies scored their third try on the next set-of-six when right winger Brett Morris made the most of a slick backline movement to score in the corner. Smith's conversion attempt hit the upright and bounced away, giving the Kangaroos a 16-6 lead with 25 minutes left on the clock.


Five minutes later the Australians would cross for their fourth try, having been camped in New Zealand territory for an extended period. Gallen popped a perfect short ball to Lewis who strode through the line ten metres out, scoring adjacent to the posts. Smith converted to extend the lead to 22-6 in favour of the Kangaroos.


Darius Boyd capped a devastating ten minute period for the Aussies, scoring in the left hand corner in the 62nd minute following a long break from Slater and a grubber kick to the left wing by Johnathan Thurston. Smith's conversion missed to the left, but the Australians had broken the backs of the Kiwis with an uncompromising ten minute period resulting in 20 points.


An amazing run and offload from Inglis in the 65th minute could have led to a try, but even his winger Darius Boyd did not expect him to have the magical ability to get the pass away, with Boyd knocking the ball on and turning it over to the Kiwis a couple of metres out from the New Zealand line.


The Aussies didn't stop there, with Justin Hodges crossing for a four-pointer in the 73rd minute of play. The Kiwis were trying to keep the ball alive but scrappy play saw the ball hit the deck. Hodges ran through and toed the ball ahead, not once but twice, and the ball bounced up into his arms just short of the line, running around under the posts to score. Smith converted to give Australia a 26-point advantage.


The New Zealanders crossed for a consolation try in the 78th minute when Kieran Foran created a hole for Frank Pritchard to score to the left of the posts. Johnson converted to take the final scoreline to 32 points to 12 in favour of the Australian Kangaroos.


It was a massive ten minute effort ealry in the second half from the men in green and gold that blew this game apart, and despite being on the end of a lop-sided scoreline, the Kiwis and Rabbitohs hooker Issac Luke was one of the strongest performers on the ground. He was clever at dummy half, constantly keeping the Australian defensive line in two minds, and his defence throughout the match was outstanding. Luke made 36 tackles, only missed one tackle and made zero errors throughout the 80 minutes.


Greg Inglis was also impressive, scoring his 20th international try to add to his 101 NRL tries and his record number of State of Origin tries, being 14 at this stage of his career.


Both Inglis and Luke will return to the Rabbitohs now as they prepare to take on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in next Friday's round seven NRL fixture.


Australian Kangaroos 32 (Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis, Brett Morris, Luke Lewis, Darius Boyd, Justin Hodges tries; Cameron Smith 4 goals)


defeated


New Zealand Kiwis 12 (Josh Hoffman, Frank Pritchard tries; Shaun Johnson 2 goals)