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Tri-Nations Game 3
New Zealand 18 v Great Britain 14
at Jade Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Paul Simpkins
New Zealand has registered their first victory of the 2006 Tri-Nations series, defeating Great Britain by 18-14.
The game opened in controversial fashion with firebrand forward Adrian Morley collecting the head of New Zealand captain Ruben Wiki in the third minute. From there both teams settled into a rhythm and it wasn?t until the 13th minute that the scorers were trouble.
Thanks to a lapse in the play the ball, Great Britain posted a penalty goal and took the lead. The game resumed it?s end-to-end nature before Brent Webb shocked the Poms from a kick return, running 80 metres from a kick-return to score in the 27th minute.
The score remained that way for the rest of the half, with both teams going back and forth within each other?s territory for the balance of the half.
The second stanza again opened slowly, this time though Great Britain missed a few opportunities as the referee began to even things up in the penalty department.
In the 54th minute Motu Tony found the line after continued pressure saw a good passage of play develop and the Kiwis took advantage in the middle of the field.
Again the game moved into a grinding phase with both teams working their way up the field but not capitalising on opportunities that presented themselves. In the 68th minute New Zealand sealed victory with a contentious try to Iosia Soliola. Jones kicked ahead and found the palms of the British defenders before Pritchard collected the ball. He put Webb away who dashed up the field and linked up with Soliola who crossed the line.
At that point the game looked over, but the Lions got their way back into the game, albeit too late.
Wellens scored in the 74th minute with a clever try orchestrated by a kick from McGuire, before the try of the game was scored in the 79th minute. Long chipped ahead and regathered, then took off to the left flank, passed to Pryce who went inside and found Ellis lurking with intent and he eventually crossed the stripe. McGuire converted as the buzzer sounded and New Zealand walked away with an 18-14 victory.
The game was a good hit out for the Brits who travel to Sydney next to play Australia. For New Zealand, they have secured their first victory of the tournament and get back on track to qualify for the final.
New Zealand: 18
Tries: Brent Webb, Motu Tony, Iosia Soliola
Goals: Stacey Jones 3/3
Great Britain: 14
Tries: Paul Wellens, Gareth Ellis
Goals: Danny McGuire 1/1, Sean Long 2/2
By the Clock:
Cloudy and cool night over here in Christchurch. It's primed for a fiery game with both teams as per the program.
The Poms have said they may well ignore the haka, surely Willie Mason's head would discourage them from doing that.
Geoff Hern relays "God Save the Queen" with some of the biggest chops in the known world. Grant Sullivan sings "God defend New Zealand" and his aren't much smaller!
Ruben Wiki leads New Zealand in the haka, as Great Britain spread out on the field to receive the ball. Probably not an orthodox approach from the Lions as the Kiwis form a huddle and get pumped.
1 min: NEWS Paul Simpkins blows time on and the Kiwis kick off.
3 min: NEWS Morley puts a huge shot on Wiki, it was a bit high but not too bad. A bit of a scuffle breaks out but is calmed down quickly.
4 min: NEWS Kiwis lose possession close to the line, looked like a strip.
8 min: NEWS Both teams working their way into this game, neither dominating just yet.
13 min: PENALTY GOAL Great Britain
The Brits open the scoring through Long who pots a penalty goal after an indiscretion in the play the ball.
Great Britain 2-0
15 min: NEWS Soliola loses the ball as he brings it out from the Kiwi line. GB on the attack.
16 min: NEWS GB get the wobbles close to the line and hand possession over.
19 min: NEWS The Poms fail at the final hurdle again, but NZ's defence is holding well.
22 min: NEWS Kiwi attacking raid fails, but they applied a fair bit of pressure.
24 min: NEWS Kiwis miss another opportunity as the Poms go on the attack.
27 min: TRY New Zealand
Fantastic try here with the Poms chipping through on the last before Webb swoops on the ball and runs 80m to score under the sticks, beating 3 players in the process. Jones adds the extras and we're alive here at Christchurch.
New Zealand 6-2
34 min: NEWS NZ have kicked the ball dead 5 times from broken play.
38 min: NEWS Poms losing control of the ball towards the end of the half.
40 min: NEWS GB press hard from inside their territory, but end up over the touch line.
40 min: NEWS Halftime here at Jade Stadium and the game is still in the balance. NZ have played the better half of footy, but have failed to press home the advantage. GB are still working out their combinations and trying to gain some cohesion.
The game could go either way from here but it's hard to see the Brits putting it all together without a much improved attacking effort. NZ are looking good but they wouldn't want to be complacent.
41 min: NEWS Great Britain get us underway in the second half and Webb carries the ball over the in-goal from the kick-off. NZ drop out.
42 min: NEWS GB penalised for dragging Webb back into the in-gaol. Harsh penalty but they fail to find touch and the Brits are back in possession.
43 min: NEWS GB run out of puff and can't get across the line. NZ's defence has been great.
46 min: NEWS McGuire, who jersey is devoid of a number, narrowly misses scoring after Webb punches the ball out close to the line.
48 min: NEWS Another failed raid by the Poms, with Hock losing the ball, it did look stripped however.
53 min: NEWS Kiwis on the attack after a penalty close to the line.
53 min: NEWS Tony is held up over the line.
54 min: TRY New Zealand
Tony scores under the posts after consistent pressure has been applied by the Kiwis. A good passage from the eastern side of the field to the centre sees an overlap develop and the Kiwis capitalise. Jones converts easily again.
New Zealand 12-2
59 min: NEWS Poms grass another opportunity as the Kiwi defence holds up well.
59 min: NEWS Crowd; 17,005. Not a bad effort.
62 min: NEWS Morley has just slapped Webb in the play the ball. Another unusual play by the Englishman.
63 min: NEWS Kiwis go close again, but no joy this time.
68 min: TRY New Zealand
Jones chips ahead, the ball is charged down, then Pritchard regathers and passes to Webb who finds Soliola and the Kiwis are in again. Jones converts from out wide.
New Zealand 18-2
73 min: NEWS Enterprising play here from the Poms.
74 min: TRY Great Britain
The Brits are in! McGuire shapes a kick close to the line and Wellens pounches to close the line for the first time in the tournament. Long converts and the visitors are behind by ten points.
New Zealand 18-8
78 min: NEWS Poms throwing it away here.
79 min: TRY Great Britain
Long chips over the top in splendid fashion before linking up with Pryce, who finds Ellis on the inside. The Poms end the game in strong fashion but go down. McGuire converts this time.
New Zealand 18-14
80 min: NEWS New Zealand take the chocolates here at Christchurch, outlasting the Great Britain side by 18-14.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Brent Webb
2 - Stacey Jones
1 - Brian Carney