Deaf Blacks too good for Australia's Silent Knights


James Mortimer     16 Oct 2013     NZDFRU

The Silent Knights won a nailbiter in 2012, winning 22-20 at North Harbour Rugby Club in Auckland, and a little bit of revenge was on the menu for the visitors.

Playmaker and man of the match Theo Waterhouse was a beacon for the Deaf Blacks, scoring three penalty goals to go along with Eli Elisara's try to give the Kiwis a 16-3 lead at the break.

However hit backs by Kurene Endemann and David Kearsey gave the Silent Knights some hope, before Darren Ropata scored the match winner.

It bring the Cochlear Cup back to New Zealand, with Australia's win last year their first since 2003.

The match, the maiden time it had been staged in Canberra, is open to registered rugby players that have a hearing loss of 25 decibels averaged over both ears.

Waterhouse told the Canberra Times that keeping the 'conversation' alive on the field was key.

"Communication is important in any sport, we just do it differently," he said.

"We worked well as a team in contact and at the breakdown. It worked well on the field today."

Silent Knights captain Paul Young praised their trans-Tasman opponents.

"They've improved so much since we last played them, hat offs to them," Australia skipper Paul Young said via NZSL (Maori: Te Reo Rotarota, Australia: AUSLAN).