12 Jun 2010

Late try gets Maori home in Whangarei

6:49 pm on 12 June 2010

The New Zealand Maori have started their rugby centenary series with an unconvincing 37-31 win over a strong Barbarians side in Whangarei, thanks to a last minute try from left wing Hosea Gear

After conceding a penalty to trail by one with three minutes left it looked as if the Maori would lose a fast-moving and entertaining match, which was effectively an All Black trial.

But the backs combined well to put Gear over and Luke McAllister added the conversion from near the sideline to finish with 12 points.

The Maori led 20-14 at half-time after a patchy first half and their other tries were scored by Stephen Brett, Liam Messam, Robbie Robinson and Hayden Triggs.

Ben Smith, Peter Saili, Jamie McIntosh and Colin Slade scored the Barbarians' tries and Slade kicked four conversions and penalty.

The Maori play Ireland in Rotorua next Friday night and England in Napier the following Wednesday.