RFU Championship XV 21-52 Maori All Blacks
Saturday November 17th
Castle Park, Doncaster
Whilst the hastily assembled Championship XV, eventually succumbed to an eight tries to two defeat at the hands of the Maori All Blacks, a crowd of 4,956 were treated to a highly entertaining game and a great advertisement for Championship Rugby
Bristol’s Tristan Roberts opened the scoring with a penalty for the Championship side that made a bright start, with Cornish Pirates Alan Paver leading their scrum to dominance early on and Gavin Cattle marshalling his side in the efficient manner we have grown accustomed to.
Whilst the Championship men were strong in the set piece and held the upper hand for large portions of the first half, the Maoris dominance at the breakdown gave them plenty of front-foot ball.
The Maoris went in at half time 7 points ahead at 14-21 with the Championship side still well in touch, however in the second half the Maori’s strong running exposed a defence that had only a few hours together and they touched down five times to bring their try tally to eight.
Nottingham’s Rhys Crane had the final say in the match as he dotted down in the closing seconds to end the game at 21-52.
Cornish Pirates favourite. Alan Paver, speaking after the match, said: “For me personally, it’s been the proudest moment of my rugby career. First to be selected and then to represent my club, and then to sing the National Anthem was amazing.
Facing the Haka was so special for me and all the boys and for what we represent in English rugby; today was a great day.
“We said we’d leave nothing, we would put it all on the pitch. Yes, you could say at times we overplayed it but we said we’d rather have a go, make a real show of it and a spectacle and let everyone enjoy it.
I think we made a good account of ourselves against a very very good side.
“I’ve not been sentimental with shirts in the past but this one’s different. My Mum will have this on her wall for a long time.”
RFU Championship XV
15. D. Mama; 14. R. Crane, 13.T. Streather, 12.C. Hayter 11.J. Bassett
10.T. Roberts, 9.G. Cattle (c)
1.M. Irish, 2.J. Vickers, 3.A. Paver, 4.N. Hannay
5. N. Rouse, 6.J. Rowan, 7.P. Burgess, 8.B. Piennar
16. T. Stagg 17. T. Davies 18. O. Tomaszczyk 19. C. Green
20. R. Burrows 21. L. Baldwin 22. J. Sharpe 23. M. Atkinson
Maori All Blacks
1. Jacob Ellison 2. Hika Elliot 3. Ben Afeaki 4. Jarrad Hoeata
5. Romana Graham 6. Nick Crosswell 7. Tanerau Latimer (c) 8. Elliot Dixon
9. Jamieson Gibson-Park 10. Willie Ripia 11. Declan O'Donnell
12. Tim Bateman 13. Jackson Willison 14. Kurt Baker 15. Trent Renata
16. Quentin Macdonald 17. Bronson Murray 18. Ben May 19. Jason Eaton
20. Shane Christie 21. Frae Wilson 22. Charlie Ngatai 23. Andre Taylor
Tries Dante Mama, Rhys Crane
Conversions: Jake Sharp
Penalties; Tristan Roberts 3
Maori All Blacks
Tries Declan O'Donnell; Kurt Baker, Hika Elliot, Trent Renata
Elliot Dixon, Frae Wilson, Romana Graham, Jackson Willison
Conversions: Willie Ripia 5, Trent Renata