Men’s Over 40s Match Reports
Men’s Over 40s Game 3 – Sunday, 13 June
New Zealand Show Real Character to Come Out with Their First Win
Australia - 5 defeated by New Zealand - 6
The New Zealand team this morning was 100% determined and committed to come away with a win today. They took the tap off and immediately make these intentions known by scoring in the righthand corner with a Touchdown to the captain Bruce McDonald.
Only minutes later Australia drove hard down to the Kiwi line and broke through the defence by taking a reverse pass and diving for the Touchdown to Robin Kildare – his first of the series. The New Zealanders are unable to follow up with effective and quickly turn possession over. Australia waste no time in putting a long ball into their winger Anthony Dudeck and making the score 2-1.
For the next few minutes both teams exchange sets of six but neither team could break through. NZ make an error on the last by not counting and give it over but Australia return the possession with a fumbled ball. After running a series of drags, play was centralized and two-man NZ quickie play between Walters and McIntyre ended with McIntyre diving over the line to score and tie the match.
New Zealand went back on attack, driving the ball at pace. A set play attacking the line results in a knock down ball and a recount for 6. Again they set up and put the long ball out wide only to have Australia knock the ball down and give the Kiwis a recount. A wayward pass gives possession back to the Aussies and they attack the lefthand side of the field, Mark Leonard running into a hole, throwing a dummy and scoring between the link and winger to nudge ahead.
A quick response was needed and that is what the New Zealanders got. They tapped off and initiated a drive with pace downfield to set up a beautiful passing sequence to put Craig Aitken in for the Touchdown to even up the scores.
Australia ran a play to the righthand side of the field then took it back to the left and created an overlap for Mick Lennon to Touchdown. Minutes later New Zealand ran a set play and Peter Walters through the long ball to put NZ into the corner but a penalty was given for a forward pass. Promising play gets the Kiwis into the in-goal but an intercept pass by Troy Morgan shuts it down and he runs the ball back to halfway before being touched. Halftime is called with Australia leading 4-3 and a cracker of a finale on the cards.
The second half starts with an Australian tap and instantly they are at the New Zealand line with the long ball cut-out pass to their winger Len Ryan finding space and a Touchdown. Patient build up by New Zealand with a chopping line run by Raymond Te Moananui was rewarded in a Touchdown and the lead reduced to just one.
Several sets followed by both teams, with both denied on the line on two occasions. The game is intense and the crowd quite vocal. A set play from New Zealand and an acrobatic dive over the player by Peter McIntyre looked for all money like the equalizing Touchdown, but but the referee called the Touch.
After long periods on attack and multiple attempts to score Greg Mildon goes over for the Touchdown to even up the game and set up a grandstand finish, but no team could land the killer blow.
The final whistle is blown and it was time for a drop off. Each team drop one player to 5 and New Zealand tap the ball. Peter Walters gets into the in goal and is able to offload to David Booth who scores the Touchdown. This could be the winning one for the game and the Kiwis are on the edge of their seats.
Australia must score off their next set of 6 to keep the game alive – their winger gets a long ball and dives into the corner with a diving New Zealand defence and the Touch is called. Two more Touches and no score the referees call full time and New Zealand are victorious in their first win for the series!
Masters Mens Over 40’s Game 2 – Saturday, 12 June
Shock Loss of the Series by New Zealand
Australia - 7 defeated New Zealand - 4
After a surprising loss yesterday the New Zealand team were very focused in turning the result around, but an intense start by Australia saw Scott Notely score the first Touchdown by diving through two Kiwi players on the line. New Zealand however responded immediately through Wi Richard Tohiariki with an offload in goal to even things up.
Several possessions later Australia score again through Troy Morgan, but when New Zealand then move the ball to the Australian line, a pass is intercepted by Troy Morgan who sprints away. He is almost caught by New Zealand’s Greg Mildon but just manages to offload to Anthony Dudeck to complete the length of the field movement and take a 3-1 lead. The score quickly moved to 4-1 when Scott Notely was put into space with the ball popped cleverly over the defender .
With 10 minutes of the match gone, New Zealand needed some inspiration and it came in form of maestro Peter Walters who stood back and threw a beautiful long ball into the gap to put Greg Mildon over for a Touchdown.
At the halftime break New Zealand were disappointed with the start and the team needed to come out firing to keep the series alive. Australia though was up to the task and soon ran a wraparound set play on the line and score through Troy Morgan.
After a long period with no scoring Australian Troy Hastie provided a switch pass inside to Ian Jordan who scores unopposed.
The lead is was becoming unassailable and New Zealand would have to score quickly to stay alive in this game. They strung together their best passages of play keeping Australia defending on their line for 3 sets of 6 but couldn’t get through the solid defence. Australia defused the attack and were quickly down the field, but turned the ball over. New Zealand gave it straight back through a penalty for off the mark play and the crowd could sense the frustration in the Kiwis.
With minutes to go Peter Walters delivered a short ball to Bruce McDonald who chops his line into a gap and scores to bring the score back to 6-3. Australia respond quickly with Troy Hastie juggling the ball over the line to Touchdown.
The mini scoring frenzy ends with Wi Richard Tohiariki planting the ball in the corner for a last second Touchdown of the match to NZ bringing the final score to Australia - 7 defeating New Zealand - 4. This also wraps up the series and is a surprising result this early in the series.
Men's Over 40s Game 1 - Friday, 11 June
Australia - 9 defeated New Zealand – 5
New Zealand started the game from the tap off and Peter Walters immediately moved into the middles on attack. Several promising attacking moves followed but to no avail until New Zealand regained possession and Walters dived between the Australian middles to score a Touchdown.
Australia were quick on the attack when play resumed, but after two penalties for offside New Zealand found themselves close to the Aussie again. Walters fired off a longball to the wing, but the Touchdown was saved.At the five-minute mark Australia received a penalty hard on the Kiwi line and Mark Leonard immediately scored between the link and winger to tie up the scores.
Soon after an Australian player was sent to the chillibin for persistent infringing and New Zealand were back on attack, utilizing two-man plays to manipulate the Australian defensive line. An attempted diving Touchdown by Peter McIntyre was unsuccessful, but the Kiwis were definitely dominating the attacking play.
Australia return fire with a strong drive pattern down field but again handling errors let them down. They remain hard on attack however and it finally pays off again for Leonard who gets his second and puts Australia in the lead.
New Zealand mount an immediate attack with Peter McIntyre getting into the in goal on a Peter Walters pass, but the Touch was just made by Australia. A penalty for a push by Australia is exploited with a patient build-up and a diving Touchdown by Jamie Laufiso to lock the scores up again.
In a frenetic finale to the half, seconds from the tap off, Australia drive to the line creating a long ball Touchdown to Mick Lemmon, but New Zealand reply immediately with Mr Touch Peter Walters scoring off the first drive and his second for the night.
Both teams played a well structured game with organized defence that made fluid attack difficult. Peter Walters was a dominant attacking figure in the first half, well supported by Peter McIntyre and captain Bruce McDonald.The second half commenced with a tap from Australia and an early handling error on the New Zealand line. A penalty awarded to Australia for pushing saw them send a long ball out to left winger Len Ryan for a Touchdown. Soon after, some slick passing from the Australian’s out to the right wing this time created a Touchdown for Paul Thomasson, stretching their lead to 5-3.
New Zealand hit back through some smart play with Shane Foley scoring.No team could capitalize on their good field position, with dropped balls stopping plays, until a controversial penalty given against New Zealand for holding saw a player sent to the sinbin and a penalty Touchdown awarded to Australia, who took a 6-4 lead.With NZ defending with only five players, Australia scored on the overlap and then again when Troy Morgan stepped inside Jamie Laufiso. A minute later New Zealand mount a direct attack at the Australian line with Shane Foley scoring a diving Touchdown for his second of the night.
While driving the ball out from the New Zealand line the referee deems Peter McIntyre to have made unnecessary contact with the Australian defender and he was also sent to the sinbin. Australia immediately scored on the right wing through Mark Leonard, who went in for his hatrick.
The final score Australia 9 over New Zealand 5. The New Zealand team showed they are capable of winning this series but the two sinbinnings cost them dearly.