- League legends criticize Kangaroos’ performance
- Greg Alexander called the result ’embarrassing’
- The Australians suffered their heaviest defeat in their history
New Zealand handed Australia their heaviest defeat ever and a rugby lesson for the ages in a record 30-0 victory in the Pacific Cup final in Hamilton.
It was the largest margin of defeat in Australian Test history, surpassing the 24-point margin of 1952 and 2005 when the Kiwis also won.
From start to finish, and from back to bench, the Kiwis were superior in every facet of the game against a Kangaroos team that offered nothing in attack and looked disinterested in defense.
Football legend Greg Alexander had high hopes the Australians would perform well ahead of the match, but called the stunning result an “embarrassing result for Australian rugby league”.
“The Kiwis needed to get off to a good start, they needed to be strong and aggressive and they needed to keep that going because the Australian team is a fantastic team,” Alexander said.
New Zealand handed Australia their heaviest defeat ever at FMG Stadium in Waikato.
It was the first time Australians had been completely excluded since 2005.
“But the Kiwis embarrassed them (the Kangaroos) this afternoon. This is an embarrassing result for Australian rugby league.
NRL great Cooper Cronk has praised the Kiwis for their cohesion against their woeful opponents.
“You’ve got contribution from everyone for New Zealand and they’ve just handcuffed Australia at different stages,” Cronk said.
Football icon Andrew Johns was also left dismayed by Australia’s defense after New Zealand scored their fifth try.
“It’s quite embarrassing of Australia. It’s really tired and the technique is really bad,” Johns said during Nine’s coverage.
Rugby league pundits have also taken to Twitter to give Mal Meninga’s men a run for their money.
“The Kiwis have completely intimidated the kangaroos. I know we’ve won some big games in the past, but this has to be one of the most dominant performances in recent memory. And this is by no means an understrength Australian team,” wrote sports commentator Sam Hewat.
Greg Alexander and Andrew Johns described the Kangaroos’ performance as embarrassing.
“What a lackluster performance. It’s like the Kangaroos are waiting for the result,” wrote presenter Julian King.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said the result was “hurtful” and would be welcomed by the international rugby league world.
“Everyone likes to see us lose and we did,” Meninga said.
“We made everyone happy. Obviously (the result) will shock the rugby league world with the way we lost and the score, but we will come back with redemption at the end of next year.
“We made a lot of mistakes. It reflects the way New Zealand played. They were the better team and deserved their victory.
Australian coach Mal Meninga said the Kiwis deserved their victory and highlighted the number of mistakes the Kangaroos made.
Kiwi lock Joseph Tapine led the pack like a colossus, and halves Dylan Brown and Jahrome Hughes controlled the game as they pleased in the inaugural Pacific Cup.
Winger Jamayne Isaako scored twice to continue his incredible year.
As a collective, New Zealand were at their best in their first win over Australia since 2018.
“You never think a Test match will end 30-0, but there is something special about this group,” Kiwis coach Michael Maguire said.