Kiwis cruise past England to advance to final at World Cup Nines
The Kiwis made it look easy against England, winning 22-6 and booking their spot in the final of the World Cup Nines, in Sydney.
After losing to Australia on the opening day, New Zealand went close to bowing out of the tournament, with a last-minute Bailey Simmonsen try snatching a 18-17 win over Papua New Guinea earlier in the day.
But they eventually clicked into gear and saved their best for the semifinal.
Ken Maumalo got the Kiwis on the board first, finishing off a miraculous end to end passage of play.
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Johnson pulled off a try saver at one end before New Zealand turned defence into attack and went 95m in one play.
And moments later they were in again through Jamayne Isaako after yet another piece of Johnson brilliance.
It was more of the same in the second half, New Zealand running in two more tries as England struggled to control any possession.
The final is at 11pm (NZ time).
Fresh from shocking England earlier in the day, Lebanon were told they were unable to field two players under the age of 18 in their must-win clash with Wales.
The news broke less than an hour before Lebanon took to the field and they were heavily beaten 25-4, although it's believed team management had been warned on Thursday the players were too young.
Under NRL rules, players must be 18 to take the field but international laws dictate the minimum age is 16.
The nines is an international event run by the NRL.
The match was also marred by an all-in brawl late, which saw Wales' Daniel Fleming and Lebanon's Travis Robinson sent from the field.
Meanwhile, the Kiwi Ferns will face Australia in the women's final (9.45pm) after overpowering England 33-4.
With their final pool game effectively a semi-final, the teams exchanged tries early but it was all New Zealand from there as Honey Hireme and Krystal Rota claimed doubles.
The Kiwi Ferns, who beat Papua New Guinea earlier on Saturday, will be out to avenge their opening-night loss to the Jillaroos in the final after going down 22-8.
- Stuff with AAP
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