6 Nov 2016

Kangaroos beat Kiwis in Four Nations

11:51 am on 6 November 2016

Australia have all but secured their spot in the Four Nations rugby league final after beating a fast-finishing New Zealand 14-8 in Coventry.

Johnathan Thurston scores against the Kiwis.

Johnathan Thurston scores against the Kiwis. Photo: Photosport

The Kangaroos were outstanding at times in the opening 30 minutes and their 10-0 lead at halftime, thanks to tries from Blake Ferguson and Johnathan Thurston was not a fair reflection of their dominance.

However, the Kiwis scored two second-half tries, including a late four-pointer from Jordan Rapana set up by some brilliance from Shaun Johnson but Australia held on to win their second match of the tournament.

Johnson thought he had crossed in dramatic fashion in the final seconds, but the video referee adjudged he had not grounded the ball.

The Kiwis are third in the standings, and play Scotland in their final round-robin game.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said the performance was more impressive than the win in Perth last month but gave credit to the tenacity of the Kiwis.

"We were fairly dominant but couldn't put them away," Meninga said.

"They kept coming up with special efforts fair play to them.

"It was a bit scary at the end but we did enough to put them away.

"It was better than Perth, it was better executed and defensively we were good for most of the game."