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The ARL Junior Kangaroos have been beaten by the Junior Kiwis in Rotorua this afternoon after the New Zealanders spectacularly recovered from twenty points down at halftime to run out 36-20 winners.
Having won last week's fixture in Wellington 24-16, the Kangaroos were hopeful of becoming the first side since 1999 to sweep the Kiwis and after a dominant first half display it was starting to look a distinct possibility, however six converted tries in a devastating 22 minute period of the second half deservedly handed the Junior Kiwis a series levelling victory.
It was a bright start by the Aussies as Manly flyer, Michael Oldfield opened the scoring for the Kangaroos inside of eight minutes and then just two minutes later, Bulldogs back-rower, Josh Jackson weaved his way over the line from 15 metres out to hand the Aussies a 10-0 lead with as many minutes gone on the clock.
Two more tries later in the half courtesy of Dane Gagai and Justin O'Neill respectively saw the Kangaroos head to the sheds with what seemed like a comfortable lead but unfortunately for the Australians this was not to be the case.
The opening ten minutes of the second period didn't result in any change to the half time score, but the Junior Kiwis had made their intentions quite clear, they were not going to die wondering and as a result they began to push passes and extending the Kangaroos defensively.
And then finally in the 52nd minute the Kiwis got on the board courtesy of Lama Tasi, and with this try the New Zealand supporters at the Rotorua International Stadium found their voice once again and they were to have much more to cheer about.
Five more tries in a 16 minute period was more than enough to ensure the Kiwis were not to be beaten for the second week running.
Junior Kangaroos coach, David Hamilton was understandably disappointed with the result but couldn't fault his young team's effort.