Maori bounce back against Canada

Sat, 24 Nov 2012 09:37
Large maori v canada 630 Large willie ripia maori kicks 63 Large maori v canada2 630

New Zealand's Maori team overcame a sin-binned player in each half to defeat Canada 32-19 at Oxford University on Friday.

New Zealand's Maori team overcame a sin-binned player in each half to defeat Canada 32-19 at Oxford University on Friday.

In a lacklustre but testy match, the Maori scored two tries to one plus 22 points from the boot of flyhalf Willie Ripia.

The match closed the year-end tours of both teams.

The Maori began with a loss, their first in five years, to English club Leicester then beat an English Championship XV.

Canada rebounded from a 12-42 loss to Samoa by dismantling Russia 35-3. But the Canadians couldn't stop their fourth straight loss to the Maori.

The Maori practically began the match with 14, with lock Romana Graham yellow-carded for a high tackle.

They still led 9-0 within 15 minutes from Ripia penalties.

The referee had to be replaced after hurting his leg, and by half-time wing Andre Taylor dotted down and the Maori led 19-9.

Another high tackle cost midfielder Tim Bateman time in the sin-bin and again Canada failed to capitalise.

Ripia extended the Maori lead to 25-9 before Canada finally crossed through replacement prop Ray Barkwill to close within six.

But in the last minute the Maori gave centre Charlie Ngatai an overlap for a converted try.

Canadian head coach Kieran Crowley felt that his side were in the game all the way, as he explained: "We were only 10 points behind at half-time.

"In the first half we just gave away points through our kicking game, we put a few in the air in the wrong position, and we put ourselves under pressure.

"We talked about that at half-time, and straight away we saw some gains, and the guys really took it to them. It was disappointing that they scored that try at the end, but our boys performed pretty well."

Talking about being so close to keeping the Maori side without a try in the second half, Crowley added: "We were pleased in one way, but also disappointed. We were so close, and we have got to learn to be able to win these games against the better teams, because they would beat most countries, as that is a pretty good Maori team.

"We know we can match them now, and go with them. I thought our scrum and our lineout were outstanding tonight, and we fronted up. But we just have to get a little bit smarter in the attack side of things."

The scorers:

For Canada:
Con: Braid
Pens: Pritchard 4

For the Maori:
Taylor, Ngatai
Cons: Ripia 2
Pens: Ripia 6

Yellow cards: Romana Graham (Maori - high tackle), Tim Bateman (Maori - high tackle)


Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Phil Mackenzie, 11 Taylor Paris, 10 Connor Braid, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Aaron Carpenter, 7 Chauncey O'Toole, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 Tyler Hotson, 4 Jebb Sinclair, 3 Andrew Tiedemann, 2 Ryan Hamilton, 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Jason Marshall, 17 Ray Barkwill, 18 Doug Wooldridge, 19 Brett Beukeboom, 20 John Moonlight, 21 Eric Wilson, 22 Nathan Hirayama, 23 Sean Duke.

Maori: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Kurt Baker, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Andre Taylor, 10 Willie Ripia, 9 Frae Wilson, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Tanerau Latimer (captain), 6 Shane Christie, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Ben May, 2 Quentin Macdonald, 1 Bronson Murray.
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Ben Afeaki, 19 Jarrad Hoeata, 20 Nick Crosswell, 21 Jamieson Gibson-Park, 22 Jackson Willison, 23 Declan O'Donnell.

Referee: Martin Fox (England)
Assistant referees: Ross Campbell (England), Roger Baileff (England)