New Zealand Schools: 49 (Etene Nanai 2, Isaiah Punivai, George Dyer, Tupou Vaa’i, Leicester Faingaanuku, Abraham Pole tries; Danny Toala 7 con) Australia Barbarians: 6 (Campbell Parata 2 pen)
Two years ago present Canterbury wing Josh McKay scored all his side's points as the New Zealand Schools’ battled manfully to foil the Australian Barbarians 23-22 in oppressive Brisbane heat.
Today at Knox Grammar School, Sydney there were fewer dramas as New Zealand cruised to a 49-6 victory against the same opposition.
New Zealand led 28-6 at halftime and added three tries in the second-half to record their second victory on tour following Thursday’s 54-7 trouncing of Fiji.
Isaiah Punivai (Christ’s College) opened the scoring for New Zealand after a strong maul drew in the Australian defense and left the centre unmarked out wide.
Punivai would play a hand in the next two tries. Prop George Dyer (St Paul’s Collegiate) finished a combined break by Punivai and wing Etene Nanai (St Kentigern’s College).
Nani then scored after an angled run by Punivai created a 3- on-2 in favour of the visitors.
New Zealand’s performance wasn’t without blemish. Lock Tupou Vaa’i (Wesley College) was yellow carded in the first-half for a dangerous tackle and the visitors struggled with the referee's interpretation of the breakdown. Additionally some of the passing in the second-half was ragged as the quality of the spectacle deteriorated.
However when things stuck for New Zealand they showed they could score from any part of the field. Moments before the break Vaa’i atoned for his indiscretion supporting a break by fullback Danny Toala (Hastings Boys’ High School).
Reserve lock Naitoa Ah Kohi (Wellington College) broke bodily from his own 22 and set up Nanai’s second and Josh Southall (St Pats Silverstream) won a clean turnover which allowed wing Leicester Faingaanuku (Nelson College) to fend off three players and dash 60-metres.
The last try was scored on the siren by substitute hooker Abraham Pole following a series of aggressive forward rumbles.
New Zealand haven’t lost any match since 2013 and will be favourites to win Saturday’s test against Australia.
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