Thursday, June 24, 2010
The New Zealand Maori team came out on top once again as they continued their centenary celebration with a 35-28 win over England on Wednesday in what was an incredible game of rugby.
England fielded a midweek side after their win over Australia on the weekend, but got the better of the opening exchanges as they scored early on before the NZ Maori came back into the match in spectacular fashion.
Wing Hosea Gear, who led the team's Timatanga Haka shortly before kickoff, scored an outstanding hat-trick on the night. His first try was an absolute classic that came from a Charlie Hodgson long range penalty that hit the upright.
"It was an awesome game, an awesome occasion. The boys dug in during that last five minutes and to finish like that, I'm just speechless. We knew that first 10 after the break was going to be crucial, I set a challenge for the boys... and we got those two quick tries," said Maori captain Liam Messam, who also scored a fantastic try.
England picked up two quick tries on the stroke of time, but the home side picked up their momentum in the second half, ending with four tries to the three of England.
"On the whole, this tour and this side have been fantastic," said Martin Johnson.
"There was some scepticism what value we would get out of the three midweek games. The whole experience has been great for the players, the coaches and whole team.
"Lots of guys have really come through, lots of guys have really stood up as well and will benefit hugely from the experience of coming our here and playing."
Without a doubt one of the games of the season, the highlights for this one are ten minutes long. Please give feedback as to your preference when it comes to video length.