Four Nations: Australia 34 New Zealand 8 - Kangaroos back on top of the world

Australia were crowned Ladbrokes Four Nations champions and regained top spot in the world rankings with a 34-8 victory over New Zealand in front of a 40,042 crowd at Anfield.

Australia's Boyd Cordner scores his side's sixth try during the Final of the Ladbrokes Four Nations Championship at Anfield, Liverpool. (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

The Kangaroos scored six tries to two and had one hand on the trophy inside the opening half an hour, building a 20-0 lead.

The tone was set in the second minute when Manu Ma’u knocked-on 10 metres out and Darius Boyd – who had an outstanding game at full-back - sent Blake Ferguson over from the resulting scrum.

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Kiwi scrum-half Shaun Johnson wasted an overlap following a break by Jordan Rapana and Australia’s counter-attack ended with Josh Dugan scoring from another Boyd pass.

Johnathan Thurston could not land his second conversion, but extended the lead with a penalty goal and then tagged on the extras after Trent Merrin barged over following a mistake by Issac Luke.

Another penalty, after a high tackle by Martin Taupau on Tyson Frizell, made it 20-0 after just 28 minutes and Dugan scored his second try when he touched down Thurston’s grubber on 32.

Australia went further in front just four minutes into the second half when Darius Boyd sliced through for a richly-deserved try from Thurston’s pass.

On 54 minutes Valentine Holmes had a touchdown at the corner ruled out by video official Bernard Sutton – on the advice of referee Ben Cummins - and that escape lifted New Zealand.

The Kiwis broke their duck 12 minutes later, after successive penalties, with a well-worked try, Jordan Kahu crossing from Kevin Proctor’s pass after Johnson had handled, though the full-back could not convert.

Kahu added a second, also unconverted, 12 minutes from time, but Australia had the last laugh through a Boyd Cordner try and Thurston’s fifth goal.

Darius Boyd was named man of the match and teammate Cooper Cronk was player of the series.