Marshall magic seals NZ win over England
October 23, 2010 - 9:44PM
New Zealand captain Benji Marshall inspired his side to a comprehensive 24-10 win over England in the opening clash of rugby league’s Four Nations tournament at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
The home side outscored England four tries to two to set alight the series which also features Australia and Papua New Guinea.
England scored back-to-back tries midway through the second spell to claw their way into contention at 10-18 before the wizardry of Marshall restored order as he scored in the corner to seal the result.
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It capped a memorable night for the New Zealand No.6, who set up one other try, kicked four goals and constantly kept the England defence on edge with his astute kicking.
But he was not entirely happy with the performance and saw plenty of room for improvement.
“It was tough. The boys were struggling a bit physically and we’re a bit drained obviously … we’ve still got a lot to work on.”
Stand-in England captain James Graham was left to rue an inconsistent performance.
“You just can’t afford to give a quality side like the Kiwis that sort of start. We showed in patches we’re good enough, we can do it for 15-20 minutes but we need to put an 80-minute performance in.”
The result was sweet revenge for New Zealand, who lost to England 12-20 in last year’s tournament, allowing England through to the final against Australia.
Twelve of the New Zealand squad played in that match and they had visions of another potential disaster in the opening minutes when game breaker Manu Vatuvei left the field with a broken arm.
But rather than drop their heads the Kiwis regrouped immediately and responded with a try to Junior Sa’u in the left corner.
Marshall missed the conversion but added a penalty goal midway through the half before setting up New Zealand’s second try with a break down the right flank which ended with Lance Hohaia scoring by the posts.
New Zealand extended their lead to 18-0 soon after halftime when England fullback Gareth Widdop dropped a Marshall bomb and from the scrum restart Shaun Kenny-Dowall beat five tacklers in a 25-metre run to the line.
England, ruing a completion rate which hovered around 63 percent, fought their way back into the game when a fast-following James Roby scored after a chip over the line caught the New Zealand defence napping.
Widdop kicked the goal and from the restart scored himself when he finished an 80-metre move in which Michael Shenton and Kevin Brown carved up the New Zealand defence.
But the England roll was soon snuffed out when a piece of Marshall magic ignited a New Zealand attack near the halfway line and he was on hand to end the move with a try in the corner.
New Zealand’s victory left the Kiwis with one foot in the final and England with one foot on a plane to Heathrow.
England must now beat Australia in Melbourne next Sunday to have any chance of making the final.
If they don’t, it will be a New Zealand-Australia affair at Brisbane on November 13, assuming Papua New Guinea don’t chip in with a miracle win over the Kangaroos tomorrow.
innsaneink last edited by
Benji was benji
Very good at times, very very average at others, that dropped pass while sneaking a peak at the rushing defence was park footy stuff, some of his defence was poor too.
However once he got into some space, his outside backs just thrived…his try in the 2nd half was a gem
and of all people to stand up in the defensive line to score that try - Gareth Ellis. Ellis came up, then went laterally keeping Marshall in check, Marshall sold him a dummy, Ellis stopped in the line, and all of a sudden Marshall was in space.
Tigerdave last edited by
I think England are in a bit of trouble, they really had no direction in attack for most of the game
Marshall went pretty well. He combined very well with Nightingale on a number of occasions. Ellis was alright in a dreadful team, didn’t get too much good ball because the Poms were so clueless, although he made a terrible miss when SKD scored.
Spartan117 last edited by
Its all about not picking up injuries….
Wow… That was a Test Match?!
And I thought the Kangaroos playing the Kumuls was going to be boring…
senexx last edited by
England can’t beat the Maori side
England can’t beat the New Zealand side
England is in trouble
England is a class below the Aussies and the kiwis, they are a clear #3 in the world. They should dust up PNG based on what we’re seeing here though.
Benji was very entertaining to watch, and he always seems to get those conversions from the sideline when
he scores the try! Go Benji!
Benji was brilliant - set up two tries with breaks, one of which he scored himself. He actually set up the first try by engineering a break in the play before the actual try. And, he threw the pass for SKD to score (OK, so SKD walked thru some terrible defense.)
We’ll be lucky if there’s a better try scored in the tournament than Benji’s try in the corner. As the NZ commentator said, it was genius!
Spartan117 last edited by
Anyone know if there is a torrent for this game??
PS - Aren’t you happy Benji is a Tiger???
I would choose any other player before him.
I noticed Gareth shaking his head after Benji stood him up!
I have been impressed with Nightingale for the last couple of months - and he seem to know exactly where he should be for Benji in this match. He would be awesome for WT on the right wing…