The Kiwis came agonisingly close to becoming the first side from their country in 52 years to beat their neighbours twice in a season. Great Britainknow that they will have their hands full against New Zealand at Loftus Road next Saturday.
The fired-up Kiwis dominated the first half, even though Australia took the lead against the run of play with a try from their captain, Darren Lockyer.
Jake Webster and Nigel Vagana put New Zealand in the lead, before Matt Cooper got the first of his two for the visitors. Hull's Motu Tony made it an eight-point Kiwi lead at half-time, but, as in the first game, they suffered a spell when they could not keep the Aussies out, conceding three tries - to Mark Gasnier, Lockyer and Cooper - in five minutes soon after the restart.
Webster brought the Kiwis back into contention, but a fine try from the outstanding Anthony Minichiello put Australia back in control. Even then, they were left hanging on at the end, when David Faiumu brought the Kiwis to within two points with three minutes to play from a quickly taken tap penalty.
"It was nerve-wracking towards the end, but a win's a win and we go over to the UK now on pretty even terms," said Lockyer.
The one remaining place in Great Britain's Tri-Nations squad is up for grabs when England play France - coached by the former Wigan boss, John Monie - at Headingley tomorrow. Mark Calderwood and Eorl Crabtree will be keen to press their claims
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