Maori All Blacks hit high notes in Chile

Mitch Karpik 1566169822

It turned out the victory by the Maori was today’s only joy for New Zealand fans, who saw the Black Ferns and All Blacks both go down, to France and Ireland respectively.


Los Condores were game on the tackle, but overwhelmed under the weight of possession and some nicely-taken tries by the visitors. Their kicker, Santiago Videla, missed both his shots at goal, and they created few other chances.

For the Maori, No 10 Otere Black continued his sharpshooting off the tee, kicking seven from seven before missing his final attempt. Opensider Mitch Karpik had a superb game, scoring three tries and galloping about in the loose. Lock Jackson Hemopo scored a double, and played equally well in both the tight and loose, even showing off a chip kick. Nothing came of that, but it was a stark indication of the Maori All Blacks’ mindset and confidence.

In the backs, wing Shaun Stevenson, fullback Josh Ioane and second five Rob Thompson were prominent, while replacement Sam Nock scored a brace on debut for this team.

The star turn, however, was No 8 Akira Ioane, who again powered through 80 minutes in a towering display. He did not cross the whitewash, but had a hand in no less than seven of the 11 tries using either his pace, strength or ability to offload or pass at exactly the right moment.

Unlike the week beforehand against Brazil, the Maori dominated the scrums, and used that as a launching pad to show some of their moves, skills and support play.

It was off a Hemopo lineout take that Akira Ioane made the bust to set up halfback Bryn Hall for the first of his two tries. Hemopo himself then crossed off a lineout drive set up by Ioane.

Karpik’s first try showed his ability to run the right lines and a nifty right foot step. He ran freely and effectively all day.

Hall’s second was due to a 1-2 with Stevenson, the latter showing great skills with an over the top pass.

Mitch Karpik 1566169822


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Campbell Burnes

Campbell Burnes has written on rugby since 2000 for a wide variety of publications, both in print and online, whilst also contributing to television and radio shows. His major gigs have seen him at Rugby News magazine (2005-12), in which he covered 50 Test matches, and the New Zealand Herald (2014-17). Burnes is one of the few in rugby media to have played international rugby, having appeared for Manu Samoa in 1995 and 2000 (seven games) as a No 10. He is now the editor of Rugby News magazine and co-editor of the Rugby Almanack.


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