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Australia bounce back to beat baby Blacks

Sekope Kepu celebrates scoring a try.(Photo: AFP)
Roar Guru
7th May, 2016
30
2952 Reads

Orbyn Leger dispatched the opening kick-off out on the full and New Zealand was in retreat right away.

Australia, playing with vigour and accuracy, roared to a 10-0 lead after eight minutes.

Simon Kennewell opened the scoring when Jack Maddocks cleaned up a loose pass on the New Zealand 22, swivelled past two defenders and put his winger away. Mack Mason then slotted a penalty.

It took New Zealand more than ten minutes to enter the Australian half. After 17 minutes the Kiwis finally got on the scoreboard when Jordie Barrett kicked a penalty.

The Australian forwards, but especially Tyrel Lomax, Angus Scott-Young and Izack Rodda, ran frequently and with fire. The latter scored a try after 25 minutes and Mason converted to make it 17-3 – the halftime score.

Things got worse for New Zealand shortly after the break when Harley Fox bullied his way through the New Zealand defence and the outstanding Maddocks set up Joey Fittock.

Down 22-3 New Zealand headed to the bench and got the impact desired. The new 9/10 pairing of Stephen Perofeta and Sam Nock changed the game, adding considerable spark.

In the 58th minute Perofeta switched to Barrett close to the line to unlock the Australian defence. Nine minutes later Nock dummied from a scrum and fooled the home team.

Jonah Lowe was sprightly throughout. In the 68th minute he dramatically snatched an intercept and dashed 85-metres to score. Barrett converted and New Zealand was inexplicably ahead, 24-22.

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New Zealand stormed back into the Aussie 22 again and Lowe watched a pass from Nock sail over his head when unmarked five-metres out.

In the 72nd minute Shambeckler Vui ran 50-metres only to be halted 15-metres shy of the New Zealand line. Isolated Vui surrendered possession and Perofeta rushed back into the Australian half.

Maddocks wriggled through some trying New Zealand defence to commence one last assault on the Kiwi goal-line. After several pick and goes, one-off the ruck, Australia milked a penalty.

Mason lined up the kick, 10-metres in from touch 20 metres out from goal. He sent the ball down the middle and Australia who led for almost the entire match achieved the result they deserved.

Other strong performers were Mitchell Jacobson and Jordie Barrett for New Zealand and Harley Fox and Sione Tuipulotu for Australia.

New Zealand retains the Oceania Trophy on points difference.

Australia: 25 (Simon Kennewell, Izack Rodda, Joey Fittock tries; Mack Mason 2 con, 2 pen) New Zealand: 24 (Caleb Makene, Sam Nock, Jonah Lowe tries; Jordie Barrett 3 con, 1 pen)

Teams
Australia
1. Faalelei Sione
2. Joshua Taylor
3. Tyrel Lomax
4. Izack Rodda
5. Ryan McCauley
6. Angus Scott-Young
7. Liam Wright
8. Maclean Jones (C)
9. Angus Fowler
10. Mack Mason
11. Joey Fittock
12. Sione Tuipulotu
13. Nick Jooste
14. Simon Kennewell
15. Jack Maddocks

Reserves
16. Richie Asiata kelemete
17. Vunipola Fifita
18. Shambeckler Vui
19. Rob Leota
20. Harley Fox
21. Moses Sorovi
22. Tom Molloy
23. Ah-mu Tuimalealiifano

New Zealand
1. Shaun Stodart
2. Leni Apisai, captain
3. Alex Fidow
4. Quinten Strange
5. Sam Caird
6. Luke Jacobson
7. Dalton Papali’i
8. Marino Mikaele Tu’u
9. Jonathan Taumateine
10. Orbyn Leger
11. Jonah Lowe
12. Jordie Barrett
13. Patelesio Tomkinson
14. Malo Tuitama
15. Caleb Makene

Reserves
16. Asafo Aumua
17. Ayden Johnstone
18. Sean Paranihi
19. Lui Luamanu
20. Caleb Aperahama
21. Sam Nock
22. Stephen Perofeta
23. Mason Emerson