MIxed results for Aussies against New Zealand

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by Beth Newman

Australia had mixed results at Newington College, with a win and a loss against New Zealand.

The Aussie Commonwealth Games squad better the Kiwis in the first game, before a development team just missed out on a victory in the second.

A third match had been slated for Friday afternoon, but with New Zealand picking up some injuries that has since been cancelled.

4:18pm  Game Two - Australia 12 - New Zealand 19

The Aussie development side just fell short of New Zealand in the second of three matches at Newington.

After trailing by nine points at the break, the Aussies mounted a comeback just after half-time, with Dylan Pietsch scoring first to narrow the margin.

The Kiwis replied to keep Australia at arm's length, but it proved to be a tougher fight than expected.

Australia's Commonwealth Games squad will play a final match against New Zealand on Friday at Newington College, kicking off at 1pm AEDT.

RESULT

Australia 12

Tries: Pietsch 2

Cons: 2

New Zealand 19

4:08pm - Game Two half-time: Australia 5 - New Zealand 14

New Zealand had the better of the first half against Australia's development side, with a nine-point half-time buffer.

The Aussies fought hard against the Kiwis, with Dylan Pietsch the standout early on, but the Kiwis drew first blood.

 

Pietsch was rewarded for his start with a super try, kicking a turning ball into space and pouncing on the ball in the corner.

3:25pm - Friend pleased with game one

Tom Lucas took the playmaking reins for the Aussies. Photo: Getty ImagesThere were plenty of positives for the Aussie Sevens after a big win over New Zealand in the opening game of their three-match series.

Aside from a comfortable win, the game proved a successful return for X-factor player Maurice Longbottom, Boyd Killingworth and Sam Myers all making it through the match unscathed.

"I was really pleased for a few of our injured boys to come back. Sammy Myers had his first run in a while, Maurice Longbottom back on the park, Boyd Killingworth back on the par,k so great to have those boys back and real good confidence boost for them," he said.

Tom Lucas took over from injured captain Lewis Holland as the playmaker in the clash, scoring a try and steering the side around the field.

"I thought Tommy Lucas went really well there at 10. He's got some big shoes there to fill with Lewis Holland out but I thought he did really well there," Friend said.

Friend was pleased with his side's defence in the clash, restricting New Zealand to just two tries. 

"They're a good football side and they'll come out in this next game and they'll be a lot tougher but for our boys in the first game, we made smart decisions, stayed on our feet, which allowed us numbers around the ball and I thought we defended really well," he said.

Charlie Taylor scored a try for the Aussies. Photo: Getty ImagesHolland was watching on from the sidelines, and Friend said he had been playing an active role in the side.

"Lewi's our captain, if he's not on the field it breaks everyone's heart but if he is on the football field, we know what he can do," he said.

"Off the footy field, he just gives smart advice, he gets around the boys, regales the boys, he's always thinking about other players and about the team, so he's a really powerful influence for the group."

Friend's Hong Kong squad will be featuring in the second game against the New Zealand Commonwealth Games squad, with plenty of rookies among their numbers.

Lachie Anderson was the only Commonwealth Games representative missing from the opening clash, but there was no question over his availability for the Gold Coast tournament next month.

1:20pm - Australia 36 - New Zealand 12

Australia's Commonwealth Games squad has had a comfortable win over New Zealand in the opening game of their series on Thursday afternoon.

New Zealand opened the second half with a score in the second minute of the half, through Ngariho McGarvy-Black crossed to narrow the gap.

John Porch replied swiftly for the Aussies, but New Zealand bettered that timing again to close the gap.

Porch had a double midway through the second half ,after a superb Brandon Quinn run down the left sideline put the Aussies on the attack.

That try was ultimately the final say of the game, with Australia clinching a big win.

RESULT

Australia 36

Tries: O'Donnell 2, Porch 2, Lucas, Taylor

Cons: Stannard 3

New Zealand 12

1:11pm - Game one half-time

Australia has a 24-0 lead over New Zealand in their opening match here at Newington College, in hot conditions.

Ben O’Donnell had two first half tries for the Aussies as they faced the Kiwis, with both teams starting at a frenetic pace in Sydney’s inner west.

Tom Lucas was the filling in that try sandwich, scoring one of his own early in the piece, before Charlie Taylor added the side’s fourth before the break, for a 24-0 lead.