Rugby League: Daley drops in for draw

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The Independent Online
A DROP GOAL two minutes from time by the new Australian captain, Laurie Daley, salvaged a 14-14 draw in the first Test against New Zealand at Auckland, writes Dave Hadfield.

It was the first-ever draw in 85 years of Tests between the two countries, but the Kiwis can regard themselves as unlucky not to have won.

Two tries from Daley's Canberra team-mate, Sean Hoppe, helped them to a 14-7 lead, after Dale Shearer's try had put Australia ahead. A handling error by St Helens' Tea Ropati as New Zealand threatened again just before half-time allowed Australia to power upfield for a converted try which put them a point behind.

New Zealand went closer to clinching the game in the second half, with the referee, Russell Smith, disallowing what appeared to be a good try by Duane Mann. With time running out, Daley landed his second drop goal to tie the game. NEW ZEALAND: Tries Hoppe 2; Goals Halligan 3.

AUSTRALIA: Tries S Walters, Shearer; Goals Shearer 2; Drop goals Daley 2.

NEW ZEALAND: M Edwards; S Hoppe, J McCracken, D Watson, D Halligan; T Ropati, G Freeman (capt); B Todd, D Mann, S Solomona, Q Pongia, G Mercer, T Nikau.

AUSTRALIA: D Shearer; M Hancock, L Daly (capt), B Fittler, W Carne; P Harrogan, S Walters; G Lazarus, A Langer, B Clyde, B Lindner, P Sironen, K Walters.

Referee: R Smith (Britain).