NZ Under 19s win after penalty shoot-out

NZPA     14 Apr 2005

Australia and New Zealand scored three tries, two penalties and two conversions each in regulation time in a high-tension match in which players from both sides were warned several times by referee Romain Poite.

Defending champions New Zealand led 15-11 at halftime but Australia had the upper hand in the second half.

"It was a close call," New Zealand captain George Whitelock said.

"Australia came back well in the second half."

New Zealand coach Aussie McLean said it was a pity there had to be a loser.

Australian captain Scott Daruda said his team were "absolutely gutted"
after New Zealand didn't need their last kicker in the first set of the shootout to win the match.

"But it was a fantastic match. To lose through a penalty shootout is cruel, but the match itself was a great spectacle." he said.

It took New Zealand just three minutes to take the lead when fullback George Pisi went over in the corner.

Centre Isaia Toeava missed the conversion from close to the touchline.

The Australians hit back and No 8 Leroy Houston's drive caught New Zealand offside, which enabled left winger Liam Bibo to kick his first penalty goal.

New Zealand answered swiftly when Toeava burst through several tackles to touch down under the posts and then converted his own try.

Bibo kicked his second penalty after Houston's drive forced the New Zealanders into errors.

Houston and his opposite number Faifile Levave were both spoken to by the referee to control their tempers.

Toeava added another penalty when flanker Vern Kamo was making a major impact on the game.

The Australians benefited from a fine maul, allowing flanker Pauliasi Taumoepeau to score and close the gap to 15-11 just before halftime.

The Australians scored again after halftime, an inside pass from centre Adam Watson putting fullback Tajhon Malaita through under the posts for their lead.

Stung by the successive tries, the New Zealand backs attacked swiftly and right wing Nicolas Thomson exploited the overlap to score. Replacement Steve Alfeld converted the try and New Zealand regained the lead, 22-18.

Alfeld then kicked an angled 40m penalty to give New Zealand a seven-point advantage.

But the Australians refused to lie down and mauled brilliantly twice following a lineout, the first earning New Zealand captain Whitelock a yellow card, before Taumoepeau scored from the second.


New Zealand 25 (George Pisi, Isaia Toeava, Nicholas Thomson tries; Toeava pen, con; Steve Alfeld pen con).

Australia 25 (Pauliasi Taumoepeau 2, Tajhon Malaita tries; Liam Bibo 2 pen,
2 con). Halftime: 15-11.