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Australian Schools Rugby News : Australian Schools Rugby News October 2009
untouched under the posts. Sopoaga converted and, despite losing Saili soon after to a yellow card for tackling a man in the air, the Kiwis continued to add points with a penalty to Sopoaga and a try to outside centre Chauncy Edwardson after a neat kick through by Sopoaga, who converted the try to take the visitors out to 23-12 with 20 minutes remaining. Sopoaga's short stab kicked bounced perfectly for Edwardson to career over. It was all New Zealand as the half wore on, and when Sopoaga spotted No 8 Antonio Kiri Kiri unmarked on the other side of the field he calmly put ball to boot and found his man, who crossed in the opposite corner to put the Kiwis out to 28-12. The New Zealand cause was also helped by much tighter defence around the fringe of the rucks, which forced the Australians to try to go wider, where New Zealand generally were able to match them for pace. Australia eventually succeeded when Tyson Frizell ran an angled line and a long pass found wing Chris Feauai, who dived over spectacularly in the corner. Kyle Godwin was unable to convert from the sideline, leaving the score at 28-17 to New Zealand . With a minute remaining, replacement Mitchell Felsman scored a strong try in the corner and raced to drop kick the conversion with only seconds remaining and the score at 28-24 to New Zealand. But the full time whistle came before Australia could mount one final assault. Jones was very pleased with his side's response in the second half, admitting that in the teams only third match together they had not been put under so much pressure before. "We were taking too many risks in our line-outs in the first half. We knew we could get up faster than the Aussies but we also needed to control the ball and the forwards did a good job," he said. "Our scrum had really struggled in the first half but that was much better after half time." New Zealand No 7 Sam Cane won the Bronze Boot Award for best player for his side, while Australian No 7 Liam Gill won it for Australia. "Sam put in a lot of work, covered a lot of ground and did a lot tackling to break up the Aussie attack," Jones said. Nowlan was similar in comments about Gill: "Liam was strong on the ground and defended tirelessly for us. Any one of five or six of our players could have won it but Liam was consistant." Apart from Cane, the best for New Zealand were centre Chauncey Edwardson, fly half Lima Sopoaga, Thomas Perenara and Otenili Moala. Australian coach Rob Nowlan praised both squads for very strong, committed performances however he believed his side were probably better than New Zealand as a team. "But New Zealand just had some brilliant individual players and that made the difference in the second half. We missed three or four tackles and handed them the tries," he added. 4 "New Zealand just had some brilliant individual players and that made the difference in the second half." -- Rob Nowlan (Australian coach) MATCH 1: October 5 The Southport School -- New Zealand Schools 47 (A Nikoro, S Luatua, L Sopoaga, T Perenara, C Piutau, A Kiri Kiri Tries; L Sopoaga 2 Cons, Pen; G Anscombe 2 Pens, 2 Cons) Australia A Schools 7 (U O'sullivan Try; K Godwin Con).