New Zealand Schools Barbarians 28 (Kienan Higgins 2, Fergus Burke, Siave Seti tries; Burke 4 con) New Zealand Maori Under 18s 24 (Terrell Peita, Stewart Cruden, Josh Hill, Coel Kerr tries; John Cooper 2 con) HT: 21-12.
The New Zealand Barbarians' Schools side was pushed all the way by the New Zealand Maori U18s side before running out 28-24 winners in their match at Massey University this afternoon.
In blustery conditions, the New Zealand Maori side came home with a wet sail to score two tries and ensure a close finish, capitalising on a sinbinning and one-man advantage to come back from 12-28 behind.
The player sin-binned, second five-eighth Kienan Higgins, had earlier scored two key tries for the Barbarians either side of halftime that ultimately set up victory. Combining well with flyhalf Fergus Burke and with both tries coming off first phase from attacking scrums, his first try just before the interval had the Barbarians ahead 21-12 at the turnaround.
Ten minutes ino the second half, he scored his second which put the Barbarians comfortably ahead at that point. Both sides made changes from the bench and the Maori found confidence attacking from deep. Denied twice, and now with a one-man advantage, lock Josh Hill crossed for a try. The Barbarians burst up-field again, leading to a well-worked final try of the match to replacement wing Coel Kerr.
Earlier, following a stirring haka, the Maori had made a top start, No. 8 Terrell Peita darting over after a forwards drive.
The Barbarians responded with the game's next two tries, first five-eighth Burke dancing through traffic and right wing Siave Seti crossing after some good lead-up work and with loosehead prop Ollie Norris prominent.
The Maori side then responded with a terrific solo try to hometown first five-eighth Stewart Cruden, whose chip kick forced an error in the in-goal and he collected the spoils to score. The conversion made it 14-12 ro the Barbarians.
But the Barbarians were able to score a third converted try just prior to the interval and a fourth early in the seocnd half to give them enough of a buffer to hold on and claim their second victory of the series after beating Tonga Schools 33-19 last week. In the other match today, Tonga Schools edged the Wellington U18s 26-24.
Video highlights of the tries that were scored below:
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