29th May 2018, 11:35 | university
Kingston Park Stadium, Newcastle
Saturday 26th May 2018, 4pm KO
New Zealand Students' execution of a solid game plan saw them square their two-match series against a lacklustre England Universities side at Kingston Park in Newcastle.
The Kiwi side, smarting from a thumping at the hands of England in the opening game of the tour, used their week's preparation well, and with just two minutes on the clock, Mona Sio ramped up onto flat pass off the ruck to barge his way over for the tourists. Michael Hollis pushed the conversion wide.
Powerful runs from the Kiwi pack and a deep kick from Hollis trapped England fullback Harry Aaronson under the sticks, forcing a drop out and in the repeat set Destry Tamai and Hollis combined superbly to send Kane Telea in for a second try for the visitors, although Hollis was unable to find his mark with the conversion.
A strong battle of the forwards followed, with both sides looking threatening. Joe Capless was denied a try for England having been put clear by Clegg, as he was bundled into touch before being able to ground the ball.
Nathan Hill energised England, scooting from his ten metre line, skipping past five defenders and going one on one with Telea to score, lifting England for the remaining ten minutes of the game. Aaronson missed the conversion but was on target at the end of the half as Capless finished a flurry of quick runs from Marcus Stock, Lewis Fairhurst and Luke Stevens to put England ahead at the break.
Half Time: 10-8
It was a full 20 minutes of pressure from both sides into the second half before New Zealand captain Jason Whareaitu bulldozed his way through the line to restore the visitors lead with Mitchell Vincent, now on kicking duty, adding the extras.
England failed to capitilise on opportunities, with Capless being taken into touch off a first play from a scrum and Nathan Hll wasting a 70 metre kick return from Harry Aaronson, wildly offloading to gift New Zealand possession and with Telea slicing through the England shirts, he found space to put winger Ben Tunnicliff away to extend the lead with just seven minutes remaining. Vincent found his mark with the kick.
England rallied with Jason Bass providing some inspirational play, but with England looking tired, Sio crashed onto a ball at the line to complete the scoring, Hollis kicking the easy conversion at the final whistle.
Full Time: 10-26
England Universities: Harry Aaronson, Nathan Hill, Jason Bass, Alex Clegg, Joe Capless, Lewis Fairhurst, Kieran Smith, Jed Mawdsley, Reece Brunt, Lewis Taylor, Marcus Stock, Munashe Fumhanda, Nathan Ainsworth. Interchanges: Luke Stephens, Ryan Langton, Conner MacCallum, Matt Chrimes, James Mason.
New Zealand Students: Kane Telea, Ben Tunnicliff, Mitchell Ropati, Isaac Robinson, Brooklyn Niwa, George Ropati, Michael Hollis, Mona Sio, Destry Tamai, Rikki Allan, Jason Whareaitu, Jong Hoon Lee, Rory Ropati. Interchanges: Josh McKenzie, Jeremy Suilepa, Matt Filipo, Matt Cussack, Mitchell Vincent.
Referee: Cameron Worsley
Tries: Nathan Hill (28), Joe Capless (38)
Goals: Harry Aaronson 1/2
New Zealand Scorers:
Tries: Mona Sio (2, 78), Kane Telea (6), Jason Whareaitu (60), Ben Tunnicliff (73),
Goals: Michael Hollis 1/3, Mitchell Vincent 2/2