After beating Samoa 44-18 win in Wollongong, the Australians will take on the Kiwis on Saturday night at Wellington in a replay of last year’s World Cup Final.
The Australians were too strong for the Pacific Islanders, scoring five first-half tries to lead 28-6 at half-time.
And they were soon on the scoreboard as Greg Inglis created the space for winger Sione Mata’utia to feed Cooper Cronk for the first try.
Inglis then touched down for the second, in a move created by the Queensland connection of Sam Thaiday and Corey Parker.
But the Samoans struck back when fullback Tim Simona ducked under a tackle to score near the left-hand post. Tim Lafai’s conversion had the Pacific islanders back in the game. And they were almost in again two minutes later but Inglis managed to hold up Wakefield’s Pita Godinet.
Inglis scored again on 25 minutes, however, and stand-off Daly Cherry-Evans then ran 70 metres down the left flank to score, before forward David Klemmer completed the first-half scoring.
Samoa refused to throw in the towel, however, and Castleford-bound stand-off Ben Roberts touched down early in the second half, and for a while they held the Australians until the 62nd minute when Cronk scored again.
Tim Lafai was bundled into touch in the left-hand corner before captain David Faalogo touched down for the third Samoan try after 70 minutes, but it was too little, too late.
In the final ten minutes the Australians added two further tries through Josh Papalii and Penrith winger Josh Mansour, who rubbed salt in the wound by scoring his first Test try.
A full report and photographs from this game will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.