Lyon on target to give Australia edge over Kiwis
The goal-kicking of former St Helens centre, Jamie Lyon, tipped a tight Anzac Test to Australia who beat New Zealand 12-8 in Melbourne. Both sides scored two tries, but Isaac Luke missed both conversions for the Kiwis, while Lyon landed a penalty and a conversion at the new AAMI Stadium.
Lyon put Australia ahead, but the key moment was Steve Matai's late challenge on Billy Slater, which saw him placed on report by the English referee, Richard Silverwood. Australia scored their first try from the possession gained from that award, Brett Morris pouncing on Darren Lockyer's precise angled kick.
Lyon missed that conversion but was on the mark from the touchline shortly after the interval, when Morris claimed his second from Sam Thaiday's brilliant off-load. New Zealand replied through Jason Nightingale and three minutes before time, Junior Sa'u got over, but Luke missed an easy kick.
In the Challenge Cup today, there is a repeat of last year's final between Huddersfield and Warrington. The Giants will be without their Kiwi Test second-rower, David Fa'alogo, who damaged a hamstring in training. Darrell Griffin and Jamahl Lolesi are back and Brett Hodgson could be fit to face the team he will join next year, while Huddersfield have agreed a two-year contract extension with their assistant coach, Paul Anderson. If the Giants are preparing for the possible departure of Nathan Brown at the end of the season, that could amount to tying down a potential successor. Cup-holders Warrington are close to full strength.
There is a tie this evening with a resonance from a couple of decades ago, but Widnes are suffering from a long injury list, headed by the former Wigan hooker, Mark Smith, who is thus denied the chance to play against his old club. Wigan recall Paul Prescott and have Martin Gleeson fit again.
In tomorrow's games, Harlequins, boosted by back-to-back victories over Wigan and Hull, cannot be written off for their match at home to St Helens. Crusaders are likely to give a first start to their new scrum-half, Jarrod Sammut, in their tie against the Catalan Dragons at Wrexham. Barrow, the giant-killers of the last round with their victory at Castleford, have a very different tie against Hunslet of Championship One.
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