New Zealand win with last-gasp try
October 5, 2013
New Zealand Schools defeated Australian Schoolboys 17-16 in the Schools Rugby Tri-Nations Series in Sydney on Saturday, fly-half Damian McKenzie successful with a sideline conversion just two minutes from full-time to break the hosts' hearts. Australia led 16-10 as the clock was running out, thanks to a superb try from Newington centre Taane Milne, but Junior All Blacks replacement back-rower Dillon Wihongi gave McKenzie the chance to snatch victory.
Fly-halves Andrew Deegan and McKenzie traded early penalties before New Zealand scored the first try of the game when McKenzie put inside centre T J Faiane through a half-gap to crash under the posts for a converted try. Deegan reduced the margin to one point with two penalties, but New Zealand led 10-9 at half-time after committed defence from both sides.
Australia took the lead in the second half with a superbly worked try against the run of play, Deegan making a break on the halfway line and finding Adrian Henley on the left touchline. The winger showed great speed before finding Tepai Moeroa on the inside, who linked with Milne to score a converted try close to the posts. Moeroa showed extraordinary power to set up another chance minutes later but this time New Zealand scrambled well enough.
Australia were given a chance to take control of the game when TJ Faiane was yellow-carded for being offside at the ruck, but the home side couldn't make their numerical advantage count and New Zealand won at the death. Wihongi went over for a try in the corner after impressive build-up, and McKenzie showed nerves of steel to land what proved to be the winning conversion from the sideline.
In the curtain-raiser, Australia A defeated Fijian Schools 32-17.
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