The New Zealand Schools and Barbarians teams beat the Australia and Fiji Schools teams respectively this afternoon.
New Zealand Schools 32 (Ngane Punivai, Laghlan McWhannell tries; Harry Plummer 5 pen, dg, 2 con) beat Australia Schools 22 (Nick Wilkinson, William Eadie, Matthew McTaggart tries; Adam Doueihi pen, 2 con)
New Zealand has retained the Trans-Tasman Trophy for the fourth consecutive year, defeating Australia Schools 32-22 at Auckland Grammar School this afternoon.
The result reverses the 14-16 loss the last time the game was played at Auckland Grammar in 2012.
New Zealand used the breeze to great effect in the first half, keeping Australia trapped in the north-eastern corner and building a 22-3 lead at halftime.
First five-eighth Harry Plummer kicked four penalties and a dropped goal and the New Zealand forwards dominated the set-piece, especially at scrum time where loosehead prop Tim Farrell won two penalties.
The first try for New Zealand was scored by fullback Ngane Punivai after openside flanker Sione Havili made a thumping tackle, jolting the ball free.
Plummer kicked the ball ahead, retained it inside the Australian 22 and New Zealand went swiftly to the right side where Punivai touched down.
Australia amplified the pressure early in the second half, their impressive centre Nick Wilkinson scored by stepping off his right foot twice and dodged a pair of defenders.
Tim Farrell then dropped the ball over the line with the score at 22-10.
Australia equalised midway through the second half with two dramatic long-range tries, scored by right wing William Eadie and fullback Matthew McTaggart. Eadie dashed 40 metres down the right side of the field and McTaggart scored after the ball went through multiple pairs of hands and a kick through.
At 22-22, New Zealand was down to their third halfback with Carlos Price going off and then replacement Tim Hogan went to the bloodbin, meaning regular flyhalf Lincoln McClutchie played halfback.
New Zealand had great impact from their bench, with props Xavier Numia and Damon Abraham in particular adding value.
The winning try was scored by lock Laghlan McWhannell, and Plummer kicked a penalty to seal a 10-point win.
The standouts for New Zealand were the two locks, Waimana Reidlinger-Kapa and McWhannell, prop Farrell, No. 8 and captain Brayden Iose, centre Billy Proctor and Plummer.
For Australia their replacement Fraser McReight won heaps of second half turnovers.
New Zealand Barbarians 46 (Joe Johnston, Kaleb Trask 2, Danny Toala, Matene Ruawai, TeRa Whata, Jamie Spowart tries; Trask 5 con) beat Fiji Schools 20 (Villame Suwawa, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa tries; Laisa Bacau 2 pen, 2 con)
The New Zealand Barbarians Schools beat Fiji Schools 46-20 in an entertaining clash in the early match at Auckland Grammar School this afternoon.
The Barbarians eventually pulled away after Fiji was reduced to 12 players late in the game.
Fiji started in sprightly fashion when an early break by tighthead prop Kaliopasi Uluilakepa and a chip and chase break by halfback Benedito Vakaruru forced the New Zealanders into retreat.
However, the Barbarians scored the first try when right wing Connor Garden-Bachop broke down the narrow touchline from a scrum and turned a pass back on the inside to captain and openside flanker Joe Johnston to make it 5-0.
First five-eighth Kaleb Trask extended their early lead to 8-0 with a 40-metre penalty.
Fiji then enjoyed a period pressure and first five-eighth Laisa Bacau kicked two penalties to close the gap to 8-6.
The Fijian right wing, Esala Nalobo, was red carded midway through the first half after a tip tackle. Initially this spurred on the Fijians, who strung together a period of converted attack. Lock forward Apisalome Bogidrau crossed but the try was disallowed for obstruction and Bacau shanked a penalty from directly in front.
The Barbarians regrouped and Trask scored an outstanding try, stepping off his left foot four times to leave as many defenders in his wake. He converted his own try to make it 15-6.
The Barbarians scored their third try right on halftime, when Trask chipped ahead to fullback Jamie Spowart who turned it on the inside to centre Danny Toala to touch down near the posts and make it 22-6.
Fijian fullback Villame Suwawa beat two defenders and raced 35 metres to score an outstanding try to make it 22-13 at the turnaround.
Fiji started the second half with brimstone, prop Uluilakepa bulldozed his way over for a try and further breaks went unconverted.
Garden-Bachop had a great game for the Barbarians, constantly breaking the line and causing the defence problems. He was pushed into the corner flag when the score was 22-20.
A short time later Fijian centre Timoci Tavatavanawai dropped the ball attempting an intercept with a clear run to the line.
Tavatavanawai then rushed up out of the line and Barbarians left wing Niven Longopoa passed to blindside flanker Matene Ruawai to score to make it 27-20.
Garden-Bachop made another break, leading to reserve halfback TeRa Whata scoring to make it 32-20.
Fiji then lost two players to the sin-bin, including outstanding lock Bogidrau and New Zealand finished with a wet sail, scoring further tries to fullback Spowart and Trask.
Standouts for the Barbarians included flankers Ruawai and Johnston and backs Trask and Garden-Bachop. For Fiji, Bogidrau, flanker Saimoni Ulunakauvadra, halfback Vakaruru and fullback Suawawa were good.
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