Maoris bag Ir­ish scalp

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

RO­TORUA, New Zealand: The New Zealand Maori rugby team has added to their proud list of i nter na­tional vict ories by mark­ing their cen­te­nary year with a coura­geous 31-28 win over Ire­land here.

Ire­land fought back from an 18-3 first-half deficit to lead 25-18 early in the sec­ond half yes­ter­day be­fore join­ing Eng­land, Aus­tralia, France and the Bri­tish and I rish Lions among t he Maoris’ in­ter na­tional vic­tims.

Fly­half Jonathan Sex­ton kicked 23 points for Ire­land, land­ing his first eight kicks at goal, but he missed the cru­cial ninth – a penalty in the 73rd minute – to cost his team a de­served draw.

The Maori scored first-half tries through winger Hosea Gear and cen­tre Dwayne Sweeney.

Then, af­ter squan­der­ing a com­fort­able lead, they re­claimed the match with a length-of-the-field try to Karl Lowe mid­way through the sec­ond half for an­other fa­mous vic­tory. – Sapa-AP

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