In perfect conditions at Gregory Terrace fields, Tennyson, the Australian Schools Barbarians battled against New Zealand Schools in a tightly contested match up.
NZ Schools came away with a marginal 23-22 victory over the Barbarians, with both teams impressing a packed out Old Boys Grandstand.
The first half saw the Barbarians concede multiple penalties against the opposition, leaving them playing catch up towards the conclusion of the first half.
New Zealand Schools flyhalf, Josh McKay, opened the scoring for his side 11minutes into the first half, after his team was awarded a penalty for an Australian infringement at the back of a rolling maul.
Shortly after, the Barbarians looked set to score at the hands of James Hawkins, who made an impressive break through opposition defence to give Australia a competitive attacking advantage.
However, the pressure of NZ’s forward pack caused a drop ball, forcing a turnover and denying Australia their crucial first points of the match.
NZ Schools had the opportunity to further extend their lead 18 minutes into the first half after conceding a penalty, but an unsuccessful kick held the score at 3-0.
Another successful penalty kick for NZ in the 23rd minute extended the visitors lead to 6-0.
Josh McKay scored his second try of the day after making a dynamic run through Australian defence, fending off tackles before finally crashing over the line.
McKay successfully converted his own try, taking NZ to a 13-0 lead.
Barbarians winger, Kris Verevis, added the team’s only points in the first half when he scored a try, which was successfully converted by Hamish Stewart.
Just before halftime, the Barbarians’ Harry Hoopert was given a yellow card after a ruck infringement close to the NZ scoreline.
The penalty kick for NZ was successful, taking the score to 16-7 leading into the break.
After the second half break, the Barbarians looked dangerous in the opening minutes, dominating at scrum time and putting renewed pressure on their NZ opposition.
NZ Schools powerhouse, Josh McKay impressed again when a clearing kick from teammate Kemara Hauiti Parapara bounced into his hands after a pacing chase down the midfield.
McKay outran the Barbarian backrow to reach the ball and dive over the line.
The Australian Barbarians opened their second half scoring with a try after a strong push through defence from the forwards, but an unsuccessful conversion kept the score to 23-12.
The Barbarians second try of the half came after they played the ball wide, giving their backs space to run the ball forward and close to the line.
The front row finished off the team effort when multiple pick and drive efforts finally led Harry Hoopert to find the line for his team.
A successful conversion took the score to 23-19, before an Australian penalty closed the gap, taking the Barbarians to a narrow trail of 23-22.
Both teams defensive line held up for the remainder of the second half, with the match rounding out with NZ Schools taking out a marginal 23-22 victory.