The Toyota Cowboys’ three-man Kangaroos contingent extended their individual Test winning streaks thanks to a come-from-behind 30-18 win against New Zealand at Allianz Stadium tonight.
Trailing by six at half time following an enthusiastic and professional first 40 minutes from the much-maligned Kiwis, Australia ran in the only three tries of the second half, all converted by champion five-eighth Johnathan Thurston, to record their 16th straight Test match victory.
JT, who moved to within one of Mal Meninga’s goalkicking record for Australia by booting five from five, hasn’t lost a Test since 2008, while his NQ co-captain Matt Scott has won 14 in a row and teammate James Tamou hasn’t lost any of his 10 Tests.
Thurston picked up another official man-of-the-match award, his fifth in his last six Test matches.
“There was no panic (at half time),” the Kangaroos five-eighth said post-match.
“We knew we had to come out after half time and do a job and that’s what we did.
“We were good enough to get the win in the end.”
After Jesse Bromwich scored in the sixth minute for the Kiwis, who couldn’t manage a try against the Kangaroos in last year’s Rugby League World Cup final, Thurston stepped up to lay on two quick tries to regain the lead for his team.
The first was a great short ball off his left to Greg Bird and the second, a pass to the right in a movement that was finished off by winger Brett Morris.
New Zealand didn’t fold and grabbed the next two – via forwards Tohu Harris and Sam Moa – to hit the front again, but they couldn’t maintain the momentum in the second half with tries to Morris (52nd minute), Greg Inglis (61st) and Cooper Cronk (73rd) stopping any chance of an upset.
Scott was again a dominant force in the middle for the Kangaroos, gaining 113 metres from his 13 hit-ups to go with 27 tackles, while Tamou came off the bench and was big in the second half, gaining 89 metres in eight charges.
JT’s five from five followed on from seven from seven in the World Cup final at Old Trafford.