LGIAsuper's Four Nations Final recap
Australia has reclaimed top spot on the international rugby league rankings with a decisive 34-8 win over New Zealand in the Four Nations final at Anfield. Check out LGIAsuper’s match review by the numbers!
The number of points Australia had scored at half-time compared to New Zealand’s 0.
Despite all the talk of a Kiwi ambush leading in to the decider (or perhaps because of it), the Kangaroos came out firing. Blake Ferguson’s early four pointer was followed by a double to Josh Dugan and a barge over try from lock forward Trent Merrin. Australia looked slick, determined and a class above their opponents.
The length (in metres) of the Anfield pitch.
If New Zealand thought the narrow field dimensions would limit Australia’s attacking prowess, they were wrong – big time.
Darius Boyd was superb at the back, Cronk and Thurston had the ball on a string and Merrin’s offloads created headaches for the Kiwis in the middle of the field.
The jersey number worn by Tohu Harris.
Harris is a fine player but he’s not a five-eighth. The loss of Thomas Leuluai to injury may have forced David Kidwell’s hand at the selection table but if the coach had his time over again, he might have taken a punt on young Panthers gun Te Maire Martin to fill the void. The Turangawaewae junior has just 6 first grade games and 1 test match on his CV but he’s a cool customer who would have taken some pressure off Shaun Johnson.
Australia’s completion rate percentage.
Combine ruthless efficiency with supreme skill and you’ve got yourself one heck of a football team. New Zealand needed to play out of their skins to compete. They didn’t.
Errors made by New Zealand.
A completion rate of 62% wouldn’t cut it in the NRL, let alone on the international stage against a rampaging Aussie side. While an improved second half showing restored some pride for the Kiwis, their error count was double that of Australia’s and they were never in the hunt.
Metres made by David Klemmer – the most of any forward in the match.
The Kangaroos firebrand continued his rich vein of form with another dominant performance off the bench. Meninga’s use of Klemmer and Shannon Boyd in short bursts proved a masterstroke, with the two big men denting the New Zealand line with ease.
Metres made by winger Blake Ferguson (a game high).
The Roosters flyer was again one of Meninga’s best at Anfield, defusing a number of high-balls and threatening the line with every run. His selection in the Four Nations squad may have come under scrutiny but Ferguson was superb throughout Australia’s campaign and a fitting winner of the Harry Sunderland Medal as Australia’s international player of the year.
Days until the 2017 NRL season kicks off!
Let’s go Cowboys!
How accurate were our Four Nations predictions? Here's a reminder of how we thought each team would fare in the tournament.