Maori ABs slump in fret­ful con­test

Herald on Sunday - - IN OTHER NEWS - By Cameron McMil­lan

The Maori All Blacks have ended the year in de­feat af­ter a fiery clash with the French Bar­bar­ians which fea­tured two bizarre yel­low cards.

Coach Clay­ton McMil­lan's side put in a messy per­for­mance ham­pered by missed tack­les and han­dling er­rors to go down 19-15 in Bordeaux with sev­eral scuf­fles break­ing out in the sec­ond half.

The Maori All Blacks lev­elled the match up at 8-all with a Sean Wainui try shortly af­ter half­time but that's as close as they got to se­cur­ing a sec­ond win of their short two-game tour.

The Maori didn't de­serve to be in the hunt but were handed a chance to steal the game late af­ter earn­ing a penalty try while trail­ing 19-8.

Re­place­ment cap­tain Tim Bate­man some­how con­vinced Ja­panese ref­eree Shuhei Kubo to re-re­view a head-high tackle on re­serve Sean Pol­wart while he made a dash for the try­line. Kubo ini­tially went up­stairs to the TMO to re­view whether Pol­wart was held up or not as he scram­bled to the line af­ter a high shot.

Af­ter see­ing no ev­i­dence of a try the ref­eree was set to call a penalty when Bate­man ques­tioned a po­ten­tial penalty try. Kubo went back to the TMO and then ruled a penalty try as well as send­ing of­fender An­toine Ti­chit to the bin.

The Maori were given seven points to close it to 19-15 and a one­man ad­van­tage for the rest of the game as boos rung around the packed ground. Both the de­ci­sion and the de­lay in making it were ques­tion­able.

How­ever, the French Bar­bar­ians held up with some brave de­fence to se­cure the vic­tory.

It was the sec­ond odd call by Kubo af­ter he yel­low-carded Maori All Blacks re­place­ment Jor­dan Mani­hera ear­lier in the sec­ond half for clear­ing a French player out of a ruck af­ter the whis­tle. Re­plays clearly showed the tackle took place be­fore Kubo called a stop to play.

The French Bar­bar­ians made the most of the one-man ad­van­tage, ex­tend­ing their lead to 19-8.

Three small scuf­fles broke out through­out the sec­ond half as the frus­tra­tion lev­els, and er­ror counts, from both sides grew.

In a messy en­counter, the French Bar­bar­ians scored the open­ing try off a poor Jack­son Gar­den-Ba­chop clear­ance which was charged down in the first half. The Maori All Blacks open­ing try by Wainui also came from a Bar­bar­ians li­ne­out mis­take.

The Maori All Blacks opened their tour with a 51-9 thrash­ing of Canada in Van­cou­ver last week.


Prop Mar­cel Re­nata is snared in a tackle against the French Baabaas.

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