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Leuluai's broken jaw compounds Kiwi misery

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/11/2016
Thomas Leuluai before he was injured against Scotland. © Alex Livesey/Getty Images Thomas Leuluai before he was injured against Scotland.

New Zealand's disappointing 18-18 Four Nations draw with Scotland has been compounded by a tournament-ending injury to Thomas Leuluai.

The Wigan-bound stand-off came off after 57 minutes clutching his face, and was later diagnosed with a double fracture of the jaw.

Kiwis coach David Kidwell confirmed the seriousness of the injury after the match.

"Thomas Leuluai has broken his jaw in two places," he said.

"We've got a duty of care to make sure everything is alright with him and his family."

Scotland made rugby league history with the late draw, becoming the first minnow nation to claim a Four Nations point.

The Kiwis had led 6-4 at halftime on the back of winger David Fusitu'a's try, and looked to have the match secure when two Gerard Beale tries within three minutes gave them an 18-12 lead with four minutes remaining.

But Issac Luke's missed conversions left a glimmer of hope for the Scots, and Euan Aitken made the most of it with a try two minutes from the final whistle, with Danny Brough's conversion earning Scotland a share of the spoils.

Kidwell said the Kiwis could have no argument with the final result.

"Scotland played well - they played to the conditions, and we got away with the draw.

"They had more energy at times and a couple of penalties of the fifth tackle really hurt us.

"I'm really proud of the way the boys got back into the game with those two tries but Scotland really deserved their draw against us."

New Zealand now need Australia to beat England at the London Stadium on Sunday to make next week's final in Liverpool, while England will go through if they beat the Kangaroos.

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