Kangaroos notch 100th win over Kiwis in rugby league
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia helped captain Cameron Smith celebrate his 50th rugby league test by beating New Zealand 30-12 on Friday for a 100th victory over their trans-Tasman rival.
Australia led 24-0 at halftime and 30-0 early in the second half in winning a fifth successive match against the Kiwis over the past year.
Smith became only the second Australian to play 50 tests, and was nine behind Darren Lockyer's record.
Johnathan Thurston showed no lingering effects of a calf injury by setting up two tries and kicking five goals, while second-rowers Boyd Cordner and Matt Gillett, named man of the match, turned in strong defensive efforts.
New Zealand, which has won just one of its past eight tests, had late tries from Simon Mannering and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Josh Dugan, who later left the match with a fractured cheekbone, opened the scoring when he soared high to take Thurston's cross-field kick, and Blake Ferguson doubled the lead with a 90-meter intercept try.
New Zealand twice had opportunities to recover, but Tuivasa-Sheck was held up over the line and Shaun Johnson's pass was ruled forward in the same set.
Sam Thaiday's 30-meter break led to Will Chambers' try untouched, and Tyson Frizell completed the four-try halftime lead.
It was the first of four rugby league internationals this weekend in Australia, where National Rugby League teams are getting the weekend off.
On Saturday, Campbelltown Stadium in western Sydney will host three matches, including a night encounter between Samoa and England, coached by veteran Australian Wayne Bennett. The Cook Islands were to play Papua New Guinea, and Tonga taking on Fiji.