Masters Over 45 Men’s Match Reports
Men’s Over 45s Game 3 – Sunday, June 13
NZ have highest scoring game of the Series and close the gap
Australia - 11 defeated New Zealand - 5
The final game of the test series began with New Zealand playing today to improve the margin of the two losses they’ve suffered. Everyone in the team was fired up and ready to put on their best display of the series.
Australia had the tap off and scored quickly with an inside ball David Cheung. The teams then exchanged sets, with none able to capitalize, New Zealand were especially unlucky after and inside pass put a player into a gap, but a forward pass ended their play.
At the tenth minute, the Kiwis turned the ball over, providing Australia with good field position. This was followed by a chilli-binning for a dangerous touch, and Australia taking advantage, scorning in the corner through Trevor Jolly. Two minutes later John Schembri evaded some scrambling New Zealand defecne and put his team ahead 3-0.
New Zealand responded with a great try after Mack Herewine scooped into the in goal and ran the length before passing off to Chris Hand to score. Australia responded immediately though with Jeff Cheung scoring from a Cliff Lyons short ball.
Slick Australian passing the saw the ball move downfield at pace, but a Kiwi hand stopped the scoring movement. Further pressure had David Cheung scoring once more and then again a minute later to establish a dominant 6-1 lead that quickly ticked over to 7-1 when Trevor Jolly scored in the corner.
New Zealand tap off to start the second half and mount an attack through Mack Herewini with a short ball sending Riki Enosa into a hole, the ball was juggled and the play slowed for Australia to recover. A few minutes later Herewini was in the action again, throwing a 30 metre long ball for Michael Hargraves to score in the corner. The Kiwis third touchdown came again with the help of Herewini who passed off to Riki Enosa to dive under the defence and score.
Australia responded to the New Zealand fightback through quick tries to Derek Duguid and Brendon McDonald. New Zealand Mark Hotham was able to peg one back after a diving Touchdown, but Australia score on their next play, and then again with another try to McDonald.
William Hamiora got on the scoreboard for New Zealand from another Mack Herewini long ball on right side of field, but it was too late for the end result to change.
A much better New Zealand showing in second half after a slow start to the game, but they couldn’t head Australia off who scored 11 Touchdowns to New Zealand’s 5 – the boys will be happy with their highest scoring game of the series.
Masters Men’s Over 45’s Game 2 - Saturday, 12 June
Australian Speed Just Too Good for the New Zealand Team
Australia - 9 defeated New Zealand - 2
Australia took the first tap off and on their first set of six work the ball to the line, finding Brett Gillard who gets outside New Zealand’s Keith O’Hanlon to score the first Touchdown. On their next set the Aussies were in again, outpacing the Kiwi defence to score through David Elliott and then once more with David Cheung crossing.
When Cliff Lyons set up John Samin with a beautiful long ball into the hole to score again in the same place as the previous three Touchdowns, the situation was not looking good for New Zealand. They answered back with a nice sequence of attack, but a long ball going to ground hurt them as they peppered the Australian defence.
Some slick passing from Australia and more classy work by Lyons in particular the home team’s lead ballon to 6-0. With a minute before halftime New Zealand managed to lift their intensity, create some forward momentum and produce a Touchdown to Mack Herewini who dived over the line.
In the first half the Australians displayed superior speed to get outside the New Zealand defence, illustrated by the first four Touchdowns scored. New Zealand would have to rethink their game plan if they were to shut this down in the second half.
Shortly after halftime Australia strike early with Touchdowns to Tim Kitchingham and David Cheung, immediately putting the New Zealander’s on the back foot who now trailed 8-1. After a long spell with no Touchdowns being scored, New Zealand constructed a nice set play with Whitu Karauna going over the line for their second Touchdown.
Some more quick play from Australia saw them drive hard and fast down the field to put in Jeff Cheung for Australia’s 9th Touchdown of the match. With minutes to go and New Zealand on attack John Samin for Australia picked up an intercept and ran towards the Kiwi line, but a quick pass out to Jeff Cheung was dropped inches before he could score another Touchdown.
Final score Australia 9 – NZ 2. This series goes to Australia with tomorrow being played for pride.
Men's Over 45s Game 1 - Friday, 11 June
Australia - 10 defeated New Zealand - 3
New Zealand tapped off through Riki Enosa and a promising drive. The ball was turned over on the last touch in goal and Australia immediately reached the New Zealand line but solid defence from the Kiwis held them out. The crowd felt the intensity in this game from the start; both teams were out for the win!
Sets of six traded between both teams before Australia drive down field and got outside the New Zealand middle who was called offside to leave Brendon McDonald to score the first Touchdown of the match for the Aussies.
Mack Herewini set up a promising attacking scoop play for New Zealand, but was unable to offload as dummy half and the ball is turned over. Australia responded immediately by driving to the line and created an overlap through a wrap around play with the last pass dropped.
Seven minutes into the game, New Zealand received a penalty 10 metres out from the Australian line and four touches later Mack Herewina threw a long ball to the wing that was well defended. Australia counter-attacked with flair and David Cheung scored in the middle of the field.
Australia put a run of good play together in the ensuing moments of the match, immediately scoring on a wrap around play with Brendon McDonald’s second try of the night. Soon after, Tim Kitchingham was also over and the Aussie up to a commanding 4-0 lead. Moments before half time they had their fifthe touchdown after spreading the ball in a flowing movement down field for John Schembri to score on the right wing.
New Zealand responded immediately but the ball was intercepted by Australia during a promising attacking movement. The Kiwi team played better than the score reflected and they left disappointed with their first half and nothing on the scoreboard from their promising attacking movements.
The second half commenced with both teams utilising effective drive plays to move the ball down field. New Zealand failed to capitalize on an early promising attacking raid, but it wasn’t long before Riki Enosa go the first touchdown for his team.
Australia brought the ball to the New Zealand line and score through Cliff Lyons (ex Manly and Rugby League legend) when New Zealand failed to respond quickly enough to save the touchdown. Riki Enosa was in again after quicky play, but in a frenetic passage of the match, Australia answered the challenge with a second touchdown to Kitchingham, one to David Kafoa and an 8-2 lead.
Within 20 seconds New Zealand responded with a scoop play by Edward Vaha’Akolo and their third touchdown. But Australia scored two more to with David Elliott scoring outside Michael Hardgrave and
Michael Sproule sprinting 45 metres down the sideline and only just getting the ball down before the Touch from the New Zealand defender.
The game ends Australia 10 touchdowns to New Zealand’s 3. A great start for Australia with New Zealand clearly disappointed and some soul searching being done tonight.