Kangaroos grind out win
Morris scores twice as Australia takes Anzac spoils
Last Updated: 07/05/10 2:10pm
Class: Morris touches down
Brett Morris scored a try in each half as Australia beat New Zealand 12-8 to win the Anzac Test on Friday.
In a scrappy match played in driving rain at Melbourne's new AAMI Park, the Kangaroos overcame the loss of Cameron Smith to grind out victory.
The influential hooker was forced to depart after just 28 minutes when he suffered an elbow injury while tackling his Melbourne team-mate Adam Blair.
Despite that setback, however, the home nation had enough class to overcome a determined Kiwi side.
After ex-St Helens centre Jamie Lyon put the home side in front with a 32nd-minute penalty, Morris pounced on Darren Lockyer's pinpoint kick to score the only try of the first half.
The St George Illawarra winger scored his second seven minutes into the second half from a superb offload by man of the match Sam Thaiday, with Lyon's second goal making the score 12-0.
The Kiwis were full of fight, however, and gave themselves a chance after 67 minutes when winger Jason Nightingale took Lance Hohaia's cut-out pass to touch down.
They did the same just before the end when centre Junior Sau took an inside pass from Sika Manu to power over the line.
However, Isaac Luke failed with both conversion attempts.
Australia captain Lockyer, who broke new ground in playing what was his 51st Test, admitted his side had been made to work hard.
"The conditions meant we had to play a bit more conservatively but the Kiwis didn't drop much ball and made it hard work for us," he said.
Kiwis captain Benji Marshall said he was proud of his players' efforts, saying: "We competed for 80 minutes.
"They had us under the pump with their kick-chase but we hung in there. It was a good all-round effort."
Meanwhile, England coach Steve McNamara said he was impressed by the defensive efforts of both teams, who his side will face in the Four Nations later this year.
"What it lacked in quality it made up for with the intensity in defence of both sides," he told Sky Sports 1.
"We are going to have to play well for 80 minutes to compete and we're going to have to have some smart plays from our halves in particular to break down two very tight defences.
"I know the conditions made it difficult but they found it hard to break each other down."