Maori All Blacks rout US Ea­gles

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Winger James Lowe and back­rower Akira Ioane both scored two tries as the New Zealand Maori rugby team beat the United States 54-7 on Satur­day to claim their 70th win over a full in­ter­na­tional team.

Lowe scored twice in the first half and Ioane touched down once in each half as the Maori won by eight tries to one to ex­tend their record against the USA to four wins from four games. Both cap­tains scored: Ash Dixon for the New Zealand Maori shortly be­fore half­time and Todd Clever for the United States whose only try came at the start of the sec­ond half. Maori prop Kane Hames had a try dis­al­lowed in the first half but scored an­other in the sec­ond while re­place­ment scrumhalf Brad We­ber touched down be­fore end­ing the game in the sin bin.

Sub­sti­tute hooker Joe Royal added the last try near full­time and Damian McKen­zie, one of four tour­ing All Blacks leant to the Maori team for the match, con­verted from the side­line. McKen­zie took over the goal­kick­ing du­ties from fly­half Ihaia West who kept a per­fect record with six con­ver­sions from as many at­tempts.

Will Holder con­verted the United States’ try. The USA be­gan strongly and oc­ca­sion­ally trou­bled the Maori team in the first 10 min­utes with rolling drives. But when Lowe scored the open­ing try in the 10th minute the tide turned and the Maori team was dom­i­nant for most of the rest of the match.The New Zealan­ders were able to dom­i­nate the mid­dle of the field with pow­er­ful ball car­ri­ers, and when the de­fense had been drawn in, to un­leash their pace on the flanks. Their de­fen­sive line speed was also too much for the United States whose play­ers were reg­u­larly cut down be­hind the gain line, plac­ing them un­der con­tin­u­ous pres­sure.

Fly­half Holder’s clear­ances were way­ward and the United States found it­self trapped in­side its own half for long pe­ri­ods. The Maori quickly pun­ished the USA for missed tack­les, no­tably when Ioane scored his first try in the 19th minute.

Lowe had his sec­ond in the 33rd minute when West chipped be­hind the de­fense for cen­ter Matt Proc­tor to re­gather and to put his winger un­touched un­der the posts.

Dixon’s try from a rolling maul gave the Maori team a 28-0 lead at half­time. Ioane brushed off tack­les to score his sec­ond in the 44th minute be­fore the United States hit back with Clever’s try from a li­ne­out drive five min­utes later. Dixon and Ioane scored while US hooker James Hil­ter­brand was in the sin bin for a pro­fes­sional foul.

Hames made amends for hav­ing his first half try ruled out for a dou­ble move­ment when he scored in the 51st minute. We­ber scored the sev­enth try in the 63rd minute.The Maori lost some of their con­ti­nu­ity in the last quar­ter but Royal pushed them through the 50 point mark just be­fore the end. —AP

CHICAGO: Tom Franklin of the Maori All Blacks takes the ball in the li­ne­out dur­ing the In­te­na­tional Rugby Match be­tween the USA Ea­gles and the New Zealand Maori All Blacks at Toy­ota Patk on Fri­day in Chicago, Illi­nois. —AFP

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