The Kiwis stunned the Kangaroos with a 26-24 win at Mt Smart Stadium last night. Here's how the Australian media reacted:

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By Andrew McMurty of News.com
A rare loss against New Zealand in Auckland may give giant-killing Tonga hope for the one off Test match against Australia next week and coach Mal Meninga admits the Kangaroos have "a bit of work to do".

A young New Zealand side pulled out an inspired performance to lead by 14 points before a late Australian fightback narrowed the scoreline to 26-24.

It was the first time in 15 years Australia had lost a Test match in New Zealand and ended a 13-match winning streak for the Kangaroos.

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"I hate losing to be honest with you, I think we all do," Meninga said.

"The papers tomorrow and the media tomorrow will be talking about the Kangaroos are vulnerable and we're at the stage in our transition where we have a bit of work to do. But I can assure you we'll be ready for next week."

Ken Maumalo is tackled by Tom Trbojevic. Rugby League International between the Kiwis and Australia at Mt Smart Stadium, Saturday 13th October, 2018. Photo / www.photosport.nz
Ken Maumalo is tackled by Tom Trbojevic. Rugby League International between the Kiwis and Australia at Mt Smart Stadium, Saturday 13th October, 2018. Photo / www.photosport.nz

First game in new era was always going to be difficult

The Kiwis held on for a well-deserved 26-24 victory. Shaun Johnson was man of the match, despite earning a few boos when it was announced, while first-time skipper Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and debutant Joey Manu deserved special praise. The first game in the post-Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston era was always going to be a tough adjustment for the Kangaroos.

But they will want to quickly bounce back given giant-slayers Tonga await at the same Auckland venue next Saturday in what will be a sellout.

Australia somehow led at the break, despite the home side enjoying 65 per cent of possession and completing 18 of their 21 sets. Their completion by the end of the night was a remarkable 89 per cent.

Kiwis coach: This is the team we want to be

"We're going to enjoy the win. That's a really strong win from the boys for where we are in this position at the moment," Maguire said.

"The boys have spoken about what kind of team they want to be so the fans do come along and come on the ride with us."

"Everyone talks about the game, but the game for us started last Sunday when we got into camp and preparing each training session, winning everything, it turned out tonight to be really good for us.

"This is obviously what we came into this camp for – to build a foundation for not only us going forward but for the kids coming through and the kids after that; to give this nation what they deserve.

"We're building. Tonight's the foundation that we've built and we've just got to keep going and going."