THE Kangaroos turned around a three-game losing streak against the Kiwis with a scrappy 16-0 win in Newcastle. Here’s the 5 things RLW learned:
1. The time has come for new blood in the green and gold.
They may have got the money but the Aussie were less than impressive in a lacklustre Test which failed to reach any heights. With five players aged 30 or above, the Aussies punted on experience and they got the job done but the Kiwis were missing a number of key players and the Roos failed to take full advantage. The Roos had 46 tackles inside the Kiwi 20 metre line and came up with only two tries – one of which was a touch and go effort by Darius Boyd.
2. Isaac Luke should have been picked.
The Warriors hooker is out of form but watching Kenny Bromwich trying to play dummy half was enough to have Kiwi fans crying in their Speight’s. Luke’s zip and creativity was sorely missed and the haka was flat without him as well. He is one of the Kiwis’ spiritual leader and he should have been there.
3. Cameron Smith’s whinging at referees is getting very tiresome.
When Semi Radradra was sent to the sin bin in the seventh minute the only person in the ground who thought the decision was wrong was Cam Smith. He argued the point with Gerard Sutton and tried to make a case that Semi did not deserve to go to the bin but it was clear that the Aussie winger had infringed and had to go for 10 minutes.
4. James Tamou can lead NSW to Origin redemption.
The Cowboys big man was simply sensational coming off the bench, bending the Kiwis line all night and putting a massive hit on Marty Taupau. Look for Tamou to have a huge Origin series and carry that form into the semi-finals as the Cowboys attempt to defend their title.
5. Greg Inglis is far from a spent force.
The Rabbitohs champ has struggled in 2016 but he looked to be loving life in the centres and back in the Aussie jersey. GI put a sweet move on Tohu Harris to score Australia’s second try and gave the New Zealand defence plenty to think about all night. Now it’s up to Michael Maguire to bring out the same enthusiasm from GI on a weekly basis.
Australia 16 (Boyd, Inglis, Ferguson tries; Thurston, Smith goals) beat New Zealand 0 at Hunter Stadium. Crowd: 27,724.