A courageous comeback wasn’t enough for the Australian Schoolboys to overcome New Zealand on Saturday, with the Kiwis taking a 32-22 win in Auckland.
Australia clawed their way back from a 19-point deficit to draw level at 22-all with 20 minutes to go, but their Kiwi opponents just did enough to pull away in the closing stages.
The green and gold bested the Kiwis in tries scored, crossing three times through outside centre Hunter Paisami, winger Will Eadie and fullback Matthew McTaggart.
Ryan Lonergan slotted two of his three conversion shots and added a penalty as well.
The perfect kicking of New Zealand’s Harry Plummer hurt the Aussies, with the flyhalf booting five penalties and two conversions from as many attempts.
The Australians competed well with the Kiwis after their slow start, showing their mettle in the comeback, something that the side was proud of, after speaking pre-match of their desire not to let New Zealand dictate the proceedings.
The result gives the Aussies a 2-2 result in a four-match tour, with wins over Samoa and Fiji, but losses to the New Zealand Barbarians and New Zealand ended their trip.
Australian captain Luke Gersekowski spoke to Sky Sports post-match, full of praise for his side and his opponents.
“It was a tough game and both sides put in a great effort. New Zealand teams are always tough to overcome,”:he said.
As for that comeback, Gersekowski said it was something they had worked on during the week, pleased that they were able to show their grit.
New Zealand 32
(Tries: McWhannell, Punivai Cons: Plummer 2 Pens: Plummer: 5)
(Tries: Paisami, Eadie, McTaggart Cons: Lonergan 2 Pens: Lonergan 1)