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Australian Schools Rugby News : Australian Schools Rugby News October 2009
NEW ZEALAND SCHOOLS TOUR 3 Novotel Trans Tasman Trophy match By John Hanrahan Achange-up in gear after half time produced three slashing tries and a 28- 24 win for the New Zealand Secondary Schools over the Australian Schools rugby team at Ballymore in Brisbane at the weekend. An aggressive Aussie side had dominated the first half in most phases of the game, going in to the break 12-6 ahead. The Australians had the better of play particularly at the ruck and in the set pieces, with their backrow and locks dominating, starving New Zealand of any possession. But apart from the penalty goals they failed to turn several trying scoring opportunities into points. "They were dead-set monsters," New Zealand coach Karl Jones said, referring to the two towering Australian locks, Greg Peterson and Luke Jones, both several centimetres over the 200cm mark. "But we knew if we could make some adjustments and get our set pieces right in the second half we could get the possession we needed." New Zealand had stunned the crowd of more than 3,000 when they opened the scoring with a phenomenal penalty goal by fullback Albert Nikoro from 59m out. Some incisive running by the Australians put pressure on the visitors and yielded a penalty opportunity for flyhalf Rohan Saifoloi who kicked the goal from 22m out to even the score. The Kiwis retook the lead soon after with a penalty to flyhalf Lima Sopoaga, however Saifoloi equalised for Australia with 13 minutes of the half remaining. The Australian scrum had the Kiwis under tremendous pressure, as did their hard, straight running close to the ruck. The New Zealand lineout was also faltering badly, under pressure from the Australian lock duo of Jones and Peterson. New Zealand also suffered a setback when flanker Joe Tupe was stretchered off, to be replaced by Michael Stewart. The Australians continued to dominate possession for most of the half, with Saifoloi adding two more penalty goals as a result of the pressure to stretch their lead to 12-6 at halftime. The Kiwis opened the second half with a greater sense of purpose, highlighted by a darting run by Sopoaga that cut the Australians to ribbons until he was finally brought to ground 60m downfield. They were rewarded for their enterprise with an attacking five metre scrum that produced a well worked move to bring inside centre Francis Saili steaming through onto a well timed pass that enabled him to score SECOND HALF RECOVERY DELIVERS NAIL-BITING WIN New Zealand Schools 28 (F Saili, A Kiri Kiri, C Edwardson tries, L Sopoaga 2 pens, 2 cons, A Nikoro pen) Australian Schools 24 (C Feauai, M Felsman tries, R Saifoloi 4 pens, M Felsman con). October 9 Ballymore, Brisbane, Referee: Damien Mitchelmore. Crowd: 3107. Seiser Photography -- www.seiserphotography.com