NZ Schools claim Tri Nations title

Paul Seiser

Lynn McConnell     02 Oct 2015     Paul Seiser

Showing too much precision as opposed to Australia's lack of continuity, New Zealand made it three in a row in the schools series.

New Zealand Schools, who had struggled to beat the Australian B team in midweek, were in no mood to repeat that effort and they dominated the first half. The power of the forward pack, not only in the set pieces but also with the ball in hand kept Australia on the back foot for much of the half.

And when the backs had their chances first five-eighths Wiseguy Faiane moved the ball around the park expertly with deft kicks in behind the Australian defensive line creating havoc.

Lock Isaia Walker-Leawere provided the first try for New Zealand Schools when powering his way over close to the posts after some impressive build-up involving hooker Asafo Aumua and props Harrison Allan and Alex Fidow.

Faiane landed a penalty goal in the 21st minute, having seen an earlier effort from a handy position hit the goal post.

But a key moment occurred in the 31st minute when No.8 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u made a superb break and showed great speed while also dishing out a punishing fend which propelled him further downfield before he in-passed just short of the line where flanker Dalton Papali'i was perfectly position to take the ball and score.

Australian goalkicker Harrison Goddard landed a penalty goal for his side as they went to half with New Zealand leading 17-3.

After 46 minutes Aumua, who was given a splendid off-load by Fidow after his own break, showed that anything the loose forwards could do he could also do and out-paced the Australian backs on a 40m run to score a spectacular try.

Australia had a long period on attack but lacked the variation that came naturally to the New Zealanders and some poor concentration resulted in a failure to maximise opportunities.

New Zealand bided their time and wing Sevuloni Reece chipped ahead to regain the ball and then fed Tom Umaga-Jensen who was handy in support to score New Zealand's fourth.

There was some reward for Australia when finally producing some continuity and it was lock Ryan McAulay who raced along the sideline like a wing to score in the corner as the final siren went.

Scorers: Australia Schools 8 (Ryan McAulay try; Harrison Goddard pen) New Zealand Schools 32 (Isaia Walker-Leawere, Dalton Papali'i, Asafo Aumua, Tom Umaga-Jensen tries; Wiseguy Faiane 3 con, 2 pen). HT: 3-17