Shaun Johnson scored a try and kicked three goals while Manu Vatuvei crossed twice as the Kiwis backed up their opening match of the tournament with another spirited performance.
Michael Jennings gave the Kangaroos the lead early on after a Kiwi mistake but Jason Nightingale kept his side in touch.
Johnson’s stellar work then sent Vatuvei over for his first as the hosts took a lead into the break.
Sione Mata’utia hit back for the Aussies after half-time but a solo effort from Johnson and then a second for Vatuvei saw them skip away.
When Ben Hunt brought the Aussies within four points they had a chance to snatch victory but 18-year-old Mata’utia, the country’s youngest ever international, couldn’t hold onto a golden chance close to the line.
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