- Four Nations
November 15, 2014
Shaun Johnson showed his class as New Zealand avenged their World Cup final defeat with a thrilling 22-18 victory over Australia to lift the 2014 Four Nations title.
The Kiwis, champions in 2005 and 2010, were forced to defend desperately to hold out a late Australia fightback in Wellington before they were able to celebrate a third tournament victory with their first set of back-to-back wins over Australia for 60 years.
The final whistle sparked wild scenes of celebration among the 25,183 crowd at the Westpac Stadium which helped set a tournament aggregate record of 144,786 as New Zealand made amends for the humiliation of their 34-2 thrashing at Old Trafford 12 months ago.
Johnson was the star of the show, scoring a solo try and carving out a magnificent score for winger Manu Vatuvei, who added another to put his side into a 22-10 lead on the hour.
However, the Kiwis were hanging on grimly at the end after substitute Ben Hunt scored Australia’s third try on 75 minutes and they were grateful to see teenage winger Sione Mata’utia fumble the ball as he went for the match-winning score.