NZ Schools victorious over Australia Schools     07 Oct 2017    

It was the forwards that laid the platform for New Zealand Schools, flanker Jeriah Mua and lock Tupou Vaa’i crossing for first half tries to set up a narrow 10-6 advantage at the break.

Fullback Etene Nanai opened the second half scoring by picking up a loose ball and showing his pace to race away to the try line. Nanai’s try extended the lead to 17-6 but Australia Schools’ responded with a five-pointer of their own.

The New Zealand Schools’ backline unleashed in the closing 15 minutes, crossing for three tries to confirm the result.

Leceister Faingaanuku, Isaiah Punivai and Lincoln McClutchie all contributing to the 34-11 score line.

New Zealand Schools’ coach Jason Holland said he was pleased with the way his team continued to attack a strong Australian team.

“I think we wore them down. At halftime we encouraged the team to use the width and it was satisfying to see they backed themselves and it came off in the second half,” said Holland.

Number 8 Devan Flanders, from Hastings Boys’ High School, received the Jerry Collins Memorial Bronze Boot for his performance, as selected by the opposition.

Holland agreed with the choice and commended his performance.

“Devan is a workhorse. He does a lot of things people don’t see; his tackle count was huge and he carried well throughout the match,” said Holland.

It was New Zealand Schools’ third win on Australian soil after previously beating Fiji Schools’ (54-7) and Australian Schools’ Barbarians (49-6).

New Zealand Schools’ 34 (J Mua, T Vaa’i, E Nanai, L Faingaanuku, I Punivai, L McClutchie tries, D Toala 2 con)
Australia Schools’ 11