Mon, Jun 04, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Saxons upset Maori to win the Churchill Cup

AP , LONDON

New Zealand Maori hooker Aled De Malmanche, first left, leads the traditional haka with teammates before their Churchill Cup final rugby union match against England Saxons at Twickenham in London on Saturday.

PHOTO: AFP

Flanker Tom Croft touched down seven minutes from time for England Saxons to upset New Zealand Maori 17-13 in the Churchill Cup rugby final at Twickenham on Saturday.

The defending champion Maori scored 109 points in their first two games, but the Saxons' defense was superb for their first win over the Maori in tournament history.

The lead swapped four times in the second half, the last when Olly Barkley sent Croft flying down the right touch to score in the 73rd minute. The Saxons scored three tries to two, and the Maori missed four penalty kicks.

Ireland A were third after holding off Scotland A 22-21.

Ireland A led 12-3 in the first half and 22-13 with 10 minutes to go. Then Scotland A center Calum MacRae kicked a penalty, winger Thom Evans scored a try to cut the deficit to one, and MacRae missed the conversion.

Canada humbled archrival the US 52-10 for fifth place.

US prop Mike MacDonald scored the opening try and teammate Salesi Sika finished off in injury time, but in between Canada posted seven converted tries.

No. 8 Sean-Michael Stephen and scrumhalf and captain Morgan Williams notched a pair each to help Canada improve to 29-1-12 in matchups with the Eagles.

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