How the Aussie media reacted to the Kiwis win

Kiwis prop Jared Waerea Hargreaves needs to replicate the form he displayed in the NRL grand final

After the Kangaroos took a 12-8 lead into halftime, the home side hit the front when hooker Brandon Smith burrowed over in the 54th minute.

The Kiwis have had to cope with high-profile retirements of their own and were beaten 36-18 by England in Michael Maguire's first Test at the helm in June, but were richly deserved winners on this occasion as a late fightback from their opponents proved in vain.

New Zealand captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak declared that the Kiwis would only continue to improve as they begun a new era for global football by inflicting the first defeat in Mal Meninga's tenure as Australian coach.

Despite the Kiwis' 26-24 win over the Kangaroos last night being regarded as a watershed moment for New Zealand Rugby League, coach Michael Maguire is adamant that it's only the beginning of what his new look side can achieve. "They took it up for the crowd and our country and did our families proud".

"We came into camp to build foundations not only for us going forward but the Kiwis coming through and the kids after that", Watene-Zelezniak.

The result capped a triple-header of New Zealand v Australia contests at Mt Smart Stadium, with Australia winning the earlier under 20s and women's contests. It started slowly and poorly, but the last 20 minutes of the first half was a cracker.

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Kiwis centre Joseph Manu scored his first Test try in the 35th minute after forcing his way through the defence of Mitchell and Holmes but halfback Johnson again missed the conversion. They remained a threat throughout the match but wanted for opportunities.

The Kiwis scored five tries to four and dominated throughout the match.

In an influential period of play just before halftime, New Zealand had a try disallowed to Watene-Zelezniak and Australia immediately scored through Dane Gagai to lead at the break. Smith had a second disallowed.

The 27-year-old South Sydney Rabbitohs flyer only made the squad in a reshuffle when original skipper Greg Inglis was suspended after being caught allegedly drink driving, which saw Boyd Cordner promoted to captain.

"We didn't give ourselves much chance but we stuck in there and it was a tight finish", he said.

A rare loss against New Zealand in Auckland may give giant-killing Tonga hope for the one off Test match against Australia next week and coach Mal Meninga admits the Kangaroos have "a bit of work to do".

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