Rugby League - Australia flex muscles to crush depleted New Zealand

Australia gorged on a feast of second-half tries to thrash depleted world champions New Zealand 32-12 in a rugby league test in Canberra on Friday.

Rugby League - Australia flex muscles to crush depleted New Zealand

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Australia's Greg Inglis (Reuters)

Australia were held to 6-6 at halftime but unleashed a blitz of four tries in 11 minutes after the break to kill off the contest at Canberra Stadium.

Cooper Cronk led off the scoring with a sixth-minute try, before Greg Inglis, Brett Morris, Luke Lewis and Darius Boyd tore the game apart with quick tries after halftime.

Justin Hodges added a sixth in the 74th minute as the Kangaroos maintained their 15-year grip over their trans-Tasman rivals in the traditional ANZAC match.

New Zealand came without key trio Benji Marshall, Sonny Bill Williams and Jeremy Smith, all sidelined through suspension and injury, and suffered a further blow when captain Simon Mannering was ruled out with injury just before the match.

They put up a gallant effort to restrict the powerful Kangaroos early, however, matching them at halftime when fullback Josh Hoffman crossed in the 40th minute.

Frank Pritchard scored a consolation try in the last few minutes for New Zealand, who will defend their title at the World Cup hosted by England and Wales in October and November.

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