- Publish Date
- Monday, 21 November 2016, 9:21AM
A rampant Australia have crushed New Zealand 34-8 to regain the Four Nations championship with a ruthless display at Anfield.
Mal Meninga's team ran in six tries and returned to the top of the world rugby league rankings after over-running a disappointing Kiwis side, who meekly surrendered the title they won in 2014.
The Kangaroos made their intentions clear after just two minutes when Trent Merrin's huge shot on Jordan Rapana dislodged the ball and from the resulting scrum, Darius Boyd found Blake Ferguson with superb cut-out pass for the Sydney Roosters star to score.
New Zealand responded in a positive fashion with Adam Blair and Jason Taumalolo making strong runs to break deep into the Australian half only for Shaun Kenny- Dowall to drop the ball when it looked easier to score.
Shaun Johnson then broke forward strongly but under pressure from Greg Inglis his pass fell short for Kevin Proctor and was picked up by Valentine Holmes who raced downfield to start a movement which ended with a try to Josh Dugan.
Matters were compounded for the Kiwis midway through the opening stanza when Trent Merrin crashed over from close range.
After adding the extra two points Johnathan Thurston then grubbered for Josh Dugan to dart in between three flat-footed Kiwi defenders to get his hand to the ball to give him a double and the Kangaroos a 24-0 lead at the break.
The second period started in a similar fashion with man of the match Boyd, who is still to taste defeat in 22 internationals, scoring when he finished off a sweeping move by sliding over in the right corner.
With 55 minutes played the Kiwis finally woke up and troubled to scorers with Jordan Kahu sliding over and he added his second just after the hour mark.
However, any hopes of a miraculous comeback were diminished when five minutes from time Boyd Cordner scrambled over for a sixth four-pointer, converted by Thurston.
"We set out to play well and get the world ranking back, we want to be the best and it is good to get the win tonight," Boyd told the BBC.
"Mal has brought of pride back to the jersey."
Australian halfback Cooper Cronk was named man of the tournament.
via Radio Sport
Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you