Sun, Nov 06, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Maori All Blacks crush the US 54-7

KEEP TRYING:Kane Hames had a try disallowed for a double movement in the first half, but made amends in the second half with a try for the New Zealand side


The Maori All Blacks’ James Lowe, left, runs in a try in their international rugby match against the US at Toyota Park in Chicago on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Winger James Lowe and backrower Akira Ioane yesterday both scored two tries as the Maori All Blacks beat the US 54-7 to claim their 70th win over a full international team.

Lowe scored twice in the first half and Ioane touched down once in each half as the Maori won by eight tries to one to extend their record against the US to four wins from four games.

Both captains scored: Ash Dixon for the Maori All Blacks shortly before halftime and Todd Clever for the US, whose only try came at the start of the second half.

Maori prop Kane Hames had a try disallowed in the first half, but scored another in the second, while replacement scrumhalf Brad Weber touched down before ending the game in the sin bin.

Substitute hooker Joe Royal added the last try near full time and Damian McKenzie, one of four touring New Zealand players on loan to the Maori team for the match, converted from the sideline.

McKenzie took over the goal-kicking duties from flyhalf Ihaia West, who kept a perfect record with six conversions from as many attempts.

Will Holder converted the US’ try.

The US began strongly and occasionally troubled the Maori team in the first 10 minutes with rolling drives.

However, when Lowe scored the opening try in the 10th minute the tide turned and the Maori team was dominant for most of the rest of the match.

The New Zealanders were able to dominate the middle of the field with powerful ball carriers, and when the defense had been drawn in, to unleash their pace on the flanks.

Their defensive line speed was also too much for the US, whose players were regularly cut down behind the gain line, placing them under continuous pressure.

Flyhalf Holder’s clearances were wayward and the US found itself trapped inside its own half for long periods.

The Maori All Blacks quickly punished the US for missed tackles, notably when Ioane scored his first try in the 19th minute.

Lowe had his second in the 33rd minute when West chipped behind the defense for center Matt Proctor to regather and to put his winger untouched under the posts.

Dixon’s try from a rolling maul gave the Maori team a 28-0 lead at halftime.

Ioane brushed off tackles to score his second in the 44th minute before the US hit back with Clever’s try from a line-out drive five minutes later.

Dixon and Ioane scored while US hooker James Hilterbrand was in the sin bin for a professional foul.

Hames made amends for having his first half try ruled out for a double movement when he scored in the 51st minute.

Weber scored the seventh try in the 63rd minute.

The Maori lost some of their continuity in the last quarter, but Royal pushed them through the 50-point mark just before the end.

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