Australia vs New Zealand, Kangaroos, result, player ratings, Nathan Cleary, Latrell Mitchell – 21Sports News %


Leeds: Australia are into the World Cup final but they were far from convincing in a bruising 16-14 win over New Zealand.

The Kiwis came within centimetres of stealing it at the death but Peta Hiku ran out of turf while trying to ground the ball in the corner.

There were 28,113 fans in the house at Elland Road and most were supporting New Zealand, with a “Kiwis” chant echoing around the ground in the final five minutes.

The Kangaroos were rattled early and trailed 14-10 at halftime, but a strong defensive effort in the second stanza ensured the gutsy win.

Here are the Kangaroos player ratings for their semi-final clash against the Kiwis.

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Stood tall at the back when his team needed him in the second half and finished with 241 metres and six tackle busts from 26 carries.

Had a nervous start and should have passed to Val Holmes who was unmarked outside him on Australia’s first attacking set and instead got crunched by Mulitalo Ronaldo.

Then failed to defuse a grubber and put Cameron Munster in an off-side position, which saw the Kiwis take an 8-6 lead in the 25th minute. But delivered when it mattered.


Made a nice break down the right wing in the first half that led to Australia’s first try and then scored their second after taking a nice flick pass from Jack Wighton.

Kicked the ball dead at the death which gave New Zealand a seven-tackle set but the Kangaroos survived the mistake.

Finished with 96 metres from 10 carries and three tackle busts to go with his two linebreaks.


Mitchell didn’t leave the ground as Joey Manu leapt above him and Cameron Munster to set Jahrome Hughes for the first try of the game. Then gave away a penalty on the very next set for a two-man strip.

But he didn’t make the same mistake twice and leapt high for every bomb that came his way afterwards, including two crucial takes late in the game.

Tried to stand up and lead his side out of trouble in the second half but gave away a pointless penalty pushing over Kieran Foran while Australia were on the attack.

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Set up Australia’s first try after he looked destined to score and instead got crunched by Joey Manu, but managed to flick it out the back for Val Holmes to cross in the corner.

Wighton missed a tough cover tackle that allowed the Kiwis to score their second try but ran for 106 metres from 12 carries.


Got crunched by Jordan Rapana in the 15th minute but seconds later came scorching down the left wing to score off a bomb Ben Hunt hit 40 metres out.

Rapana didn’t lay a finger on him as he raced through to score his 12th try of the tournament, which equalled Val Holmes’ World Cup record.

“That is breathtaking,” Andrew Voss said on Fox League.

Rapana got him back in the 22nd minute with another heavy tackle that forced an error. Addo-Carr finished with 137 metres from 16 carries.


The five-eighth failed to defuse a chip and Joey Manu came flying over the top of him and Latrell Mitchell to set up the opening try for Jahrome Hughes.


Threw a nice cut-out in the first half for Val Holmes to break down the right wing and nailed his first sideline conversion but missed the second.

Knocked on early in the second half with Australia on the attack and failed to leave his mark on the game, made 25 tackles and missed five.

DCE getting called up for the final not out of the question for coach Mal Meninga, leaving him with a potential selection headache.

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Some effort runs out of his own half and went about his usual work without making any mistakes. Made 19 tackles and made 54 metres from eight carries.

BEN HUNT – 6.5

Hunt went for a 40-20 in the eighth minute and the ball went 10 metres out on the full, but he saved the day on the next set by defusing a grubber centimetres off his own line.

Made a tackle in the 64th minute that forced a crucial knock on and made 20 tackles.


RCG returned and was tasked with leading the Kangaroos pack but had a quiet first half and then only came on in the second stanza for the final 10 minutes.

Finished with just 49 metres from seven carries but made 20 tackles and missed just one.


Got through his usual grunt work and ran all night long applying plenty of pressure on New Zealand’s back three.

Made 72 metres from 11 carries and finished with 17 tackles without missing any.


The man-of-the-match made 35 tackles in the first half and ran hard all night with 75 metres from eight carries.

Stuck up for his mates in melee in the second half and put a great shot on Nelson Asofa-Solomona that forced an error.


Yeo didn’t link with the backline in his usually effortless manner but tackled his heart out to finish with 20 in the first half alone and finished with 35.

Ran for 99 metres from 13 carries which included three tackle busts.



Not his busiest game, came on in 28th minute and made 15 tackles while running for 24 metres from four carries.


Came on after 20 minutes and immediately took some strong carries and picked up where he left off in the second half.

Finished with 90 metres from 11 carries and made 21 tackles.


Took some tough carries out of his own half and kept Australia going forward all night.

Knocked on early in the second half just five metres from the New Zealand line and gave away a silly penalty early in the second half after igniting a melee by sticking up for Nathan Cleary who was taunted for knocking on.

But made up for in the 54th minute with a hard run from 10 metres out off a tap penalty to break through three defenders and score the go-ahead try.

Ran for 90 metres from 11 carries and made 17 tackles.


Only came on in the 55th minute and got put on his back seat on his first hit up but moments later he put a hit on Joey Manu that forced a knock on.

Made 36 metres from six carries and made 11 tackles.