International schools rugby – Baabaas too good for Oz schools
NZ BARBARIANS SCHOOLS 24
15 Bram Egli, King’s College
14 Sean Connor, Otago BHS (1)
13 Aleki Morris, Otago BHS
12 TJ Faiane, St Kentigern College
11 Luteru Laulala, Wesley College
10 Damian McKenzie, Christ’s College (2)
9 Leon Fukofuka, Kelston BHS (3)
8 Dillon Wihongi, St Kentigern College (c)
7 Mitchell Karpik, King’s College
6 Mitchell Jacobson, Cambridge HS (4)
5 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Wellington College
4 Jack Falloon, St Kentigern College
3 Wade McLean-Te Huia, Hamilton BHS (5)
2 Ezekiel Sopoaga, Wellington College (6)
1 Tau Koloamatangi, Wesley College (7)
1 Michael Green, Christchurch BHS
2 Otere Black, Tu Toa
3 Mitchell Drummond, Nelson College
4 Seluini Molia, Wesley College
5 Jordan Brown, Feilding HS
6 Liam Polwart, Sacred Heart College
7 Kerry Love, Napier BHS
NB. Billy Harmon of St Bede’s College was an unused substitute.
Tries: Karpik, Drummond, Green
Cons: McKenzie (3)
AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS 5
Try: John Porch
Saturday September 29 at Sacred Heart College, Auckland, 12.15pm
Ref: Ryan Nixon (Auckland) Crowd: 1500 H/T: 7-5 Barbarians
By Campbell Burnes at Sacred Heart College
The New Zealand Barbarians Schools side, in their first official match, were too strong for Australian Schools at Auckland’s Sacred Heart College last Saturday afternoon.
In brilliantly sunny and warm conditions, the Mark Vincent and Dave Dillon-coached Barbarians were enthusiastic and committed from the opening whistle. The previous afternoon they had been presented with their jerseys by former All Black and proud Barbarian Alan Whetton.
Australia had the wind but could not make effective use of it, while the Barbarians were able to force turnovers with some tigerish play in the loose.
But the game’s first score did not come until the 23rd minute when the diminutive but ubiquitous openside flanker Mitchell Karpik crossed, looming in support to receive a superb offload by big lock Nelson Asofa-Solomona. First five Damian McKenzie landed the first of his three conversions.
But while the Barbarians had the ascendancy, and were pressuring the Australian lineout, they could not quite finish off some dangerous attacking forays, understandable when they had only been together for a matter of days. The box kick from halfback Leon Fukofuka did pay dividends, though, and the Barbarians were able to make inroads on several occasions.
A missed touchfinder gave Australia sniff late in the first half, with fullback Jonah Placid setting up his left wing John Porch for a brilliant try, getting on the outside of his man, and bringing the tourists back into the game.
The second half began badly for the Australians, the kickoff sailing out on the full. Thereafter the Barbarians again put the squeeze on but coughed up possession with tries begging on at least two occasions.
Eventually replacement halfback Mitchell Drummond darted over off a scrappy scrum and Australia was forced to play catch-up footy. This resulted in the final try to the Barbarians. Australia’s breakout foundered on smothering defence and replacement Liam Polwart, playing on his home turf, fed replacement wing Michael Green to score in the corner.
It was a fine win for the New Zealand Barbarians, and in fact they could have posted 40+ if passes had gone to hand and some more clinical decision-making been shown.
The best on show were flanker Karpik, first five McKenzie, fullback Bram Egli, who was strong on the counter-attack, captain and No 8 Dillon Wihongi, lock Asofa-Solomona and hooker Ezekiel Sopoaga.
On hand among the decent crowd was former Wallaby No 8 Greg Cornelsen – of the four tries against the All Blacks in 1978 fame – watching his boy Jack play in his old position for Australia.
In the following game at SHC, New Zealand Schools were too strong for Samoan Schools, to the tune of 59-3, running in nine tries.
This Saturday sees two games at Auckland Grammar School. In the 12.15pm opener, the New Zealand Barbarians Schools face Samoan Schools, and at 2.45pm the annual trans-Tasman schools test kicks off.