I let Australia down says new hooker Cook

I let Australia down says new hooker Cook

The win is a boost for the game in New Zealand after the disappointment of a World Cup campaign in which they suffered back-to-back losses to Tonga and Fiji and were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Australia hit the front in the second minute with a well taken try by Valentine Holmes and regained the lead 12-8 on the stroke of half-time with a try to Dane Gagai, a late addition to the Kangaroos squad.

Manu then made a try for Jordan Rapana which proved crucial in New Zealand's first victory over Australia in their last six meetings.

The Bunker then became the number one enemy of the New Zealand Rugby League fans after captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was denied a try when the bunker ruled that Joseph Manu knocked the ball on in the lead up to a potential four-pointer.

New Zealand and Australia entered a new rugby league era in Auckland on Saturday, with new captains and new faces, and the fresh look brought a new result too with the Kiwis prevailing 26-24.

The momentum continued to build for the home side and it was Shaun Johnson who turned on the footwork and drew in the Australian defence and the ball ended up with Esan Marsters who scored to put the home team more than a converted try ahead. "They took it up for the crowd and our country and did our families proud".

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"It's just going to build and build and hopefully we can return the favour with our fans".

After the retirement of a golden generation of players including Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith, the Aussies have shown they are beatable. It started slowly and poorly, but the last 20 minutes of the first half was a cracker.

Valentine Holmes and Lattrell Mitchell were a risky attacking combination down the left-hand side and they created Australia's first try, to Holmes, after only two minutes.

But they will want to quickly bounce back given giant-slayers Tonga await at the same Auckland venue next Saturday in what will be a sellout.

"Young Brandon hasn't played a lot of hooker throughout the year but he just put his hand up, kept working hard and did what was needed for the team", Maguire said. "We didn't give ourselves much chance but we stuck to it and it was a tight finish".

England host New Zealand in a three-Test series, which begins on 27 October and is live on the BBC.

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