Lomu humbled in Australia

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The Independent Online
Queensland knocked Auckland off the top of the Super-12 table in no uncertain terms on Friday, humiliating the New Zealanders 51-13 at Ballymore, Brisbane.

Garrick Morgan, the Australian Test second-row forward, scored two of his side's seven tries in what proved to be a devastating day for the All Black wing, Jonah Lomu, who was a bystander for most of the game, but failed dismally to shine when he got the chance to get involved.

The victory lifted Queensland, champions in 1993 and 1994, to 33 points from nine games, one point clear of Auckland, who still have a game in hand. Just to complete Auckland's misery, it was the first time this season they have failed to earn a bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match.

Lomu, one of several All Black internationals in the Auckland side, barely touched the ball in attack, and defensively he struggled to contain Queensland's young winger Ben Tune, who even had time to salute the 25,267 crowd after easily rounding his celebrated opponent to score Queensland's sixth try.

Morgan, who switched back to rugby union this season after a brief and unsuccessful stint in rugby league, repeatedly added his support to the Queensland back line, helping create three other tries. Forward Tou Tai Kefu, No 8 Mark Connors, Wallaby centre Jason Little and winger Damian Smith also scored tries for Queensland, who led 34-8 at half-time.

Queensland's other Test lock, John Eales added a further 16 points in another convincing kicking display by landing five conversions and two penalties.

Auckland, thoroughly outplayed from midway through the first half after conceding a try to Morgan in the opening minute of the match, scored tries through winger Joeli Vidiri and front-row forward Olo Brown.

Carlos Spencer, the stand-off, added a solitary penalty for the dispirited visitors, whose only previous loss in the competition was against Australian Capital Territory.

Closer to home, Cardiff go into the final straight of the Heineken League title race at Newport today with their hopes of retaining the title resting in their hands. Pontypridd host Treorchy knowing that only a maximum three bonus points will do to keep their flickering hopes burning.

But Cardiff simply have to prevent Newport from completing a hat-trick of wins if the trophy is to stay on display in the Arms Park honours cabinet.