Thurston returns as Kangaroos claim dominant Anzac Test win
Australia produced another dominant performance against New Zealand to claim a 30-12 victory in the Anzac Test in Canberra as Johnathan Thurston made a successful return from injury.
The Kangaroos brushed aside the Kiwis in the Four Nations final back in November, easing to a 34-8 success on that occasion.
New Zealand made eight changes from that team, but the contest followed a markedly similar pattern, the visitors unable to take advantage of their opportunities and outscored five tries to two.
Josh Dugan scored twice in the last meeting at Anfield and, after New Zealand failed to capitalise on some early pressure, it was the St George Illawarra Dragons centre who broke the deadlock.
Dugan leapt spectacularly to claim a kick from Thurston - the North Queensland Cowboys star playing in his first game in nearly a month because of a calf injury - and touch down.
The Kiwis continued to have more of the ball, but fell further behind when Blake Ferguson intercepted a Shaun Johnson pass and raced almost the full length of the field for Australia's second try.
A barnstorming Sam Thaiday run allowed Will Chambers to dart in and make it 18-0 on the half-hour mark.
Ferguson then had a second ruled out by the video referee, but Tyson Frizell made it 24-0 five minutes before half-time by pouncing on a Thurston kick that bounced off the post.
Australia refused to let up after the break as Jake Trbojevic crashed over, but Simon Mannering ensured New Zealand at least got off the mark.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck further reduced the arrears, yet there was no remarkable comeback, the Kiwis condemned to another humbling defeat.
It was a bittersweet victory for Australia, though, with Dugan failing to finish the game due to a suspected fractured cheekbone in a blow to a Dragons side sitting in second in the NRL table.