Maori maintain 71-year record     03 Jun 2006    

It was a disappointing end to the season for the Waratahs, beaten semifinalists in the Rebel Sport Super 14.

It was always going to be a tough ask for NSW who were without six of their starters who were on Wallaby duty.

The significant loss of personnel proved to be a bridge too far for the home side as the Kiwi's scored three tries to one.

It was the Maori who opened the scoring in the 10th minute when centre Pehi te Whare crossed the line after some good build-up work from first five-eighths Callum Bruce and second five-eighths Neil Brew, but NSW hit back immediately through fullback Peter Hewat's two penalty goals to leave them trailing 6-7 at the break.

And it was the Tahs' who came out in the second half the more aggressive team to grab a 13-7 lead thanks to a Ben Jacobs try and another Hewat conversion.

The momentum didn't last long as Maori No.8 Thomas Waldrom crossed two minutes later for the visiting sides' second try to ensure the game went right down to the wire.

Playing their first game at the Sydney Cricket Ground for 23 years, Hewat nearly won it for the home side after kicking a 66th minute penalty to give the Tahs' a 16-15 advantage, but it was not to be as hooker Luke Mahoney crashed over the line in the 77th minute to give the Maori a hard-fought win.

New Zealand Maori 20 (Pehi Te Whare, Thomas Waldrom, Luke Mahoney tries; Callum Bruce con, pen) NSW 16 (Ben Jacobs try; Peter Hewat 3 pen, con). HT: 7-6