Maori All Blacks on receiving end in rare defeat

Last updated 05:00 15/11/2012
Kade Poki
Getty Images
Mathew Tait of Leicester Tigers is tackled by Kade Poki of the Maori All Blacks.

Relevant offers

International

Lions tour: British and Irish Lions take down a drone in kicking challenge Match scheduling and stadium issues means South Island likely to miss full benefits of the Lions tour Lions tour: Skipper Sam Warburton declares himself 'fully fit' for New Zealand Lions tour: Stuart Hogg on being Lions cub and why mixing four nations is 'really easy' All Blacks to face Springboks in Cape Town for first time since 2008 Rugby supporter ejected for putting British and Irish Lion off his goal kick City leaders upbeat as Wellington loses Sevens Rugby to Hamilton Denny Solomona in doubt for England debut in Argentina due to foot injury Lions Tour: Billy Vunipola loss 'massive blow' to Lions' hopes of beating the All Blacks Lions tour: Todd Blackadder still backing the All Blacks despite wishing Bath winger Anthony Watson good luck for NZ tour

Jamie Jospeh's New Zealand Maori slumped to a rare low yesterday, losing their tour opener to English club Leicester.

The Tigers won 32-24, inflicting the first loss on the Maori side since 2007 and just the second in 23 games stretching back to 2003.

And this was a bad loss for a team that has claimed some heavyweight scalps in recent years, including the British & Irish Lions, England, and Ireland as well as second tier tests sides Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Japan.

Leicester were missing 10 players away on international duty. But under the guidance of 19-year-old first five George Ford, deputising for England No 10 Toby Flood, the Tigers managed to dominate at Welford Road in front of more than 17,000 fans.

Ford, who last week missed five of his nine kicks at goal against Northampton, was accurate against the Maori, landing eight of 10 for 22 points. They included six penalties as the tourists paid the price for ill-discipline that also included fullback Andre Taylor and lock Jarrad Hoeata being sin-binned.

The Maori side were both brilliant and bumbling. They scored a super early try to halfback Frae Wilson - one of 11 uncapped Maori players on show - and added two others to midfield backs Tim Bateman and Charlie Ngatai.

But when the heat went on as they tried to haul in the Tigers, handling errors plagued them.

The heartbreaker for the Maori side came in the 29th minute when the Tigers hacked a ball clear on defence and wing Adam Thompstone collected it for a try against the run of play. Suddenly Leicester had a 19-point lead and Ford's boot kept them in front.

The Maori All Blacks weren't alone in their struggles as other international teams played midweek matches against English clubs yesterday.

Gloucester beat Fiji 31-29 and Newcastle beat Tonga 24-13.

The Maori play an English Premiership XV in Doncaster on Sunday (NZ time) and complete their short tour with a "test" against Canada in Oxford the following weekend.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the better Springboks lock?

Bakkies Botha

Victor Matfield

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content