Maori All Blacks go down in tour opener
The Maori All Blacks lost their UK tour opener against England club side Leicester today.
The Tigers won 32-24 in a match played at their Welford Road ground in front of a crowd of 17,206.
The loss snapped an eight-match winning streak dating back to 2007. The last time the Maori lost was 13-17 to the England Saxons in June of that year.
Jamie Joseph's side paid the price for poor discipline as Tigers first-five George Ford kicked six penalties which proved the difference.
Fullback Andre Taylor and lock Jarrad Hoeata were sin-binned to add to the tourists problems.
The Maori outscored the Tigers three tries to two with halfback Frae Wilson and second five Tim Bateman scoring in the first half and big centre Charlie Ngatai getting the only touchdown of a tight second half.
The Tigers were rewarded for some adventure with their tries coming from wings Niall Morris and Adam Thompstone.
Bateman's try came just before halftime and saw the Kiwis close the gap to 26-17.
But they couldn't push on and handling errors hit the Maori All Blacks in their desperate game of catchup.
The Maori All Blacks play an English Premiership XV on Sunday (NZ time) and complete their short tour with a "test" against Canada the following weekend.
In another match played today, Gloucester scored a last gasp converted try to beat Fiji 31-29.
Leicester Tigers 32 (Niall Morris, Adam Thompstone tries; George Ford 2 con, 6 pen.) Maori All Blacks 24 (Frae Wilson, Tim Bateman, Charlie Ngatai tries; Willie Ripia 3 con, pen.) HT: 26-17