Sunday, June 20, 2010
Its been another big weekend for international rugby as fiercely contested games took place all over the globe. So today is catch-up time for highlights as we start with the New Zealand Maori beating of Ireland, as they snuck a 31-28 win.
The Maori side marked their centenary year with the scalp of the Irish, who came back strong after being down 18-3 in the first half. The game looked as though it had gotten away from them at that stage, but they steadied the ship and incredibly lead the game 25-18 early in the second half.
Jonathan Sexton kicked 23 points for Ireland, but missed his first kick in the 73rd minute, a penalty that would have probably earned his side a draw.
With the win, New Zealand Maori added Ireland to their proud list of international victims, which includes England, France, Australia, and the British & Irish Lions.
"It's awesome for Maori rugby, what's happened," said Liam Messam. "It's a bit of history for Maori rugby so I'm proud of the boys. We can't wipe the smile of the boys' faces in the changing room at the moment. They're really stoked at what they've done."
Irelands captain on the night, Geordan Murphy, said that his side were sucked into the way that the Maori played and were too loose in the second half.
"We tried a couple of offloads when potentially we could have held on to the ball and put them under a bit more pressure. It's difficult when you play a game like that not to try to throw the 50-50 passes," he said.
Ireland head to Brisbane now to face Australia in a Test next weekend.