A sensational second-half comeback from the unheralded NZ Maori side earned them an 18-all draw in an entertaining contest in Auckland earlier tonight.
It was the English side who took the initiative, racing out to an 18-0 lead at half-time, making good use of a large amount of missed tackles from the NZ Maori side, resulting in tries to centre Ryan Atkins, gun halfback Sam Tomkins, and back-rower Sean O’Loughlin.
The visitors themselves produced a large number of errors, but it was their monster forward pack that was causing all the problems for the Maori side, and the English were unlucky not to be up by more at half-time.
The second-half however, was a whole different ball-game to the first. The Maori side stepped up their defence and it paid dividends towards the end of the second-half.
Creating more opportunities as they increased their possession percentage, they found gaps in the English defence on a regular basis, which raises some serious concerns for the English side ahead of the Four Nations starting next week.
The Maori did however score a controversial try, with their third try scored by Arana Taumata in some doubt, but ultimately, the main focus remained on the English as they will aim to improve their performance in time for the start of the Four Nations.