Rugby League World Cup: New Zealand brush aside Cook Islands in warm-up
Last Updated: October 20, 2013 6:04pm
World Cup holders New Zealand avoided a surprise England-style warm-up defeat with ease by seeing off the Cook Islands 50-0 in Doncaster on Sunday.
Winger Jason Nightingale started and finished the scoring and centre Bryson Goodwin also scored two tries as the Kiwis comfortably collected the victory in front of 4,638 fans.
New Zealand were without five members of Sydney Roosters' Grand Final-winning team, including Sonny Bill Williams, but half-back Kieran Foran, from beaten finalists Manly, was drafted into the side in place of former Wigan favourite Thomas Leuluai, who rested a hamstring injury, and he had a huge influence on the game.
The Kiwis never looked back after running in three tries in the first 16 minutes through Nightingale, Manu Vatuvei and Elijah Taylor but they had to wait until eight minutes before half-time for their next score, Goodwin touching down Foran's delicate kick for his first try.
Shaun Johnson kicked his fourth goal to make it 24-0 at the break and any hope of the Cook Islands getting back into the contest disappeared when winger Dominique Peyroux had a try disallowed for putting a foot in touch two minutes into the second half.
Peyroux's misery was compounded shortly afterwards when he conceded a penalty try after his kick dislodged the ball from centre Dean Whare's grasp in the act of scoring.
Kevin Locke added the goal to stretch the Kiwis' lead to 30-0 and the holders added further tries through Goodwin, Johnson, Locke and Nightingale, with Goodwin kicking two conversions.