Australia 16-14 New Zealand: Reigning champions edge thriller to reach Rugby League World Cup final

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Reigning champions Australia edged Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand 16-14 in a thrilling contest at Elland Road on Friday to reach the Rugby League World Cup final.

Australia trailed 14-10 at the interval in Leeds, but Cameron Murray crossed over for the only try in the second half and the Kangaroos held on for a nervy victory.

New Zealand entered the tournament as top seeds and lived up to that billing when Jahrome Hughes crossed over in the 11th minute after being picked out by Joey Manu.

But Australia, who have not lost a World Cup match since 2008, responded five minutes later through Josh Addo-Carr's 12th try of the tournament.

Jordan Rapana's penalty had the Kiwis back in front, only for their opponents to again hit back thanks to Valentine Holmes, who dotted down in the corner.

Dylan Brown chased down Ronaldo Mulitalo's pass to give New Zealand the half-time lead, which they would have extended if not for Peta Hiku's try being ruled out.

Australia used that scare to their advantage as Murray capitalised on some sloppy defending to power through in the 53rd minute, with Nathan Cleary adding the crucial extras.

No further points followed, with Hiku having a late try chalked off and Australia holding firm to reach yet another final, where either England or Samoa await on November 19.