The Australian Schools side has gone down to New Zealand Schools 34-24 in Wellington on Saturday despite three tries in ten minutes from Australia to bring them within striking distance of victory.
The New Zealand Schools side were eventually able to win the Test with a late try ensuring victory.
Australian Schools Head Coach Steve Philpotts was incredibly impressed with the spirit of his young charges.
“I am very proud of the way we conducted ourselves today in difficult conditions.
“To come within three points of New Zealand Schools when we were 17-0 down at half time shows the amazing spirit of this side.
“Our running Rugby in the second half saw us play exceptionally well and I know these students will take lot from this touring experience both on and off the field.”
The match started with a torrential downpour of rain and hail that affected the opening passages of play for both sides as control of the ball in hand became a challenge.
The Australian scrum did well in the early engages against New Zealand Schools despite the noticeable size advantage to the New Zealanders.
New Zealand’s best try scoring opportunity came in the 12th minute with the New Zealand team sending wave after wave of attack at the Australian defence.
The Australian side patiently defended and eventually scrumhalf Harrison Goddard pounced on a loose ball allowing fullback Jordan Fulivai to clear the danger.
The territorial advantage of the New Zealanders though eventually led to some reward with scrumhalf Sam Nock diving over in the corner off a well-placed New Zealand kick to score the opening try of the match.
With the successful conversion from the corner New Zealand fullback Jordan Trainor, New Zealand took a 7-0 advantage.
New Zealand extended their lead with an inspired set move in the backline allowing Jonah Lowe to score in the corner despite the efforts of the covering Australian defence.
New Zealand schools fullback Jordan Trainer converted the try from the corner once again giving his side a 14-0 lead.
The damage could have been much worse for the young Australian side had it not been an try saving tackle from scrumhalf Harrison Goddard who bundled winger, Malo Tuitama into touch in the shadows of half time.
Jordan Trainor’s accuracy with the boot was tested once again but the New Zealander kicked successfully to convert a penalty 35 metres out.
At halftime New Zealand’s lead was 17-0.
Australia shot out of the blocks with the commencement of the second half and played a smart territorial game to trap New Zealand in their own half.
With the option for a penalty, captain Harley Fox pointed to the posts and scrumhalf Harrison Goddard made no mistakes as he gave Australia the first points of the second half.
The Australian revival took a blow with a try in the in 45th minute with Sam Nock darting through the Australian defence. The successful conversion took the score to 24-3.
The belief in the Australian Schools side could not be questioned with the young men in gold powering their way well into the New Zealand defence with some quick hands and sharp running.
A brilliant individual effort from outside centre Izaia Perese from Anglican Grammar School brought Australian Schools its first try of the match as the quick runner evaded three New Zealand tackles to run twenty metres to score.
The successful conversion from Goddard reigned in the New Zealand advantage to 24-10.
Connor Moroney, who had been brilliant for Australia all match at the breakdown scored the second Australian try off the back of consistent play that saw Australian Schools advance 40 metres up field.
16 year old Harrison Goddard of Oakhill College in Sydney’s west continued his excellent form with his kicking to take the score to 27-17.
With New Zealand Schools struggling to cope with the new pace of the match Australia had set, reserve forward Gavin Luka crashed over the line to score, meaning Australia had scored three converted tries in ten minutes of play.
Goddard converted to bring the deficit to three points with New Zealand Schools leading 27-24.
Australian Schools continued to defend but phase after phase of attacking raids eventually cracked the Australian defence with Sio Tomkinson crashing over the try line underneath the posts.
The try was converted and New Zealand were able to hold off the late Australian fight back with a 34-24 victory.
New Zealand Schools 34 (tries; Sam Nock (2), Jonah Lowe, Sio Tomkinson cons; Jordan Trainor (4) pens; Jordan Trainor (2)) defeated Australian Schools 24 (tries; Izaia Perese, Connor Moroney, Gavin Luka cons; Harrison Goddard (3) pens; Harrison Goddard)