Friday, May 25, 2007

Live-blogging: CANADA vs. NZ MAORI

The CANADA vs. NEW ZEALAND MAORI Churchill Cup match gets under way in about 10 minutes. Stay tuned for live tracking scores and commentary.

Here are the team line-ups:

Canada: 1. Kevin Tkachuk, 2. Pat Riordan, 3. Scott Franklin, 4. Luke Tait, 5. Mike Burak, 6. Mike Webb, 7. Adam Kleeberger, 8. David Biddle, 9. Ed Fairhurst (captain), 10. Ander Monro, 11. James Pritchard, 12. David Daypuck, 13. Craig Culpan, 14. Dean Van Camp, 15. Mike Pyke. Reserves: 16. Aaron Carpenter, 17. Dan Pletch, 18. Mike Pletch, 19. Josh Jackson, 20. Stan McKeen, 21. Morgan Williams, 22. Nathan Hirayama.

New Zealand Maori: 1. Keith Cameron, 2. Luke Mahoney, 3. Hoani Tui, 4. Kristian Ormsby, 5. Isaac Ross, 6. Angus Macdonald, 7. Scott Waldrom, 8. Warren Smith, 9. Chris Smylie, 10. Callum Bruce, 11. Anthony Tahanae, 12. Rua Tipoki (captain), 13. Jason Kawau, 14. Pehi Te Whare, 15. Shannon Paku Glen Horton. Reserves: 16. Aled de Malmanche, 17. Craig West, 18. Jarrad Hoeata, 19. Hayden Triggs, 20. James Rodley, 21. Tamati Ellison, 22. Dwayne Sweeney.

This will be the third time Canada has faced the NZ Maori. The Maori toured Canada and played three matches in 2003, including a pair of test matches. Full details of that tour here.

Franklin Gardens, Northampton in England for an nice clear early evening...

Canadians are on the field, Maori coming out... Anthems and haka to follow...

Maori to kick off...

Ander Monro holds on at the Canada 22 and penalized. Easy kick...

2 min. Callum Bruce hits post, misses easy penalty attempt. Canada escape...

5 min. Canada clear badly, charge down by Maori. TRY to Scott Waldrom. 5-0. Conversion to come.

Bruce converts easily. Maori 7 - Canada 0.

Another Canadian mistake at kick-off, ball kicked dead, scrum at half.

9 mins. Maori TIGHTHEAD on Canadian scrum at half-way. Canada intentional knock-on. Maori scrum at half...

12 min. Pat Riordan (Canada) penalized in front of sticks... Maori opt for lineout...

TRY out wide right to Maori winger Pehi Te Whare... Maori lead 12-0.

Canadian commentator Gareth Rees whinging about Maori obstruction in mid-field...

Bruce converts out wide. 14 min Maori 14 Canada 0.

Tipoki with huge openfield break. Ormsby steps out of bounds.

Penalty against Maori for killing ball. Pritchard converts out front.

18 min. Maori 14 Canada 3.

TERRIBLE giveaway on ruck ball near Canadian line, Anthony Tahanae scores easily in left corner TRY!

21 min. Bruce misses conversion. Maori 19 Canada 3.

Maori run ball from their own line, look dangerous, but throw ball out of bounds near half....

24 min. Penalty. Pritchard lands a long one. Maori 19 Canada 6.

Heavy pressure, Maori recycling and attacking... Canada barely holding on...

26 min. TRY to Maori fullback Glenn Horton behind sticks. Maori 24 Canada 6.

Bruce converts easily Maori 26 Canada 6.

Ormsby penalized for swinging arm on Van Camp. Canada kick for corner...

30 min. Canadian prop Franklin off, Mike Pletch on. Penalty near Maori corner flag. Ref warns Maori about a yellow card...

Canada millimetres from a try on line. Great rucking... Going to TMO...

Looks like a try to Adam Kleeberger, but tough TMO call...

TRY awarded!

31 min. Pritchard converts out wide left touchline, just misses. Maori 26 Canada 11.

Well-deserved try.

Better defence by Canada, pressuring Maori into errors.

35 min. TRY to Anthony Tahanae. Came on back of bad Canadian mistake. They had penalty at the half, kicked to line, but missed touch and Maori counter attacked with lethal open-field breaks. Canada knocks ball loose, Tahanae pounces on loose ball over line. Conversion missed.

37 min. Maori 31 Canada 11.

Aimless cross-field kick by Monro; Horton runs it back and try is on with three open Maori, but stopped dead with pass intercepted by Fairhurst.

Kristian Ormsby looks like Caucau (!!), blows by four Canadian defenders in open field. Knock-on.

HALF-TIME. Maori 31 Canada 11 at the break. Canada have made some silly errors that have lead to probably 14 points.

Teams are back on, Canada kicking off...

44 min. No scoring yet. No quit and good energy by Canada... so far...

46 min. Callum Bruce runs through several WEAK Canadian tackles, runs straight 50 metres to score under posts with big Roko dive TRY. Ouch! Easy conversion. Maori 38 Canada 11.

Penalty against Maori. Ref warns Tipoki about another yellow for back-chat...

52 min. Try to Maori; but ref doesn't play advantage. Silly. No worries - Quick tap at line and TRY to Jason Kawau.

Bruce converts. Maori 45 Canada 11.

Scrummie Morgan Williams on, Ed Fairhurst moves to fullback.

58 min. Scrappy play, no change in score. Canada pinged for penalty. Maori kick to corner for lineout near Canadian line...

Both teams ring in changes. We've lost audio feed, and can't see numbers, but McKeen on for Canada. Audio returns...

60 min. Canadian scrum near own line. TIGHTHEAD, ball loose, Angus McDonald gets ball to mid-field, Tamati Ellison TRY on first touch of ball. Easy conversion. Maori 52 Canada 11.

Maori are running rampant, but Morgan Williams claims turnover ball, goes inside, dummies, nice pass wide (hint of forward pass) to Mike Pyke TRY!

63 min. Pritchard nice conversion wide left touch. Maori 52 Canada 18.

Bad clearance kick by Canada misses touch, Maori counter-attack; big busting run by Tahanae who offloads to Warren Smith TRY.

69 min. Bruce slots conversion. Maori 59 Canada 18.

72 min. Nathan Hirayama comes off the bench for Canadian debut - youngest Canadian test player ever. Rees says his father played for Canada. Audio feed disappears again...

73 min. TRY to Aaron Carpenter, Canada. Missed conversion. Maori 59 Canada 23.

(Setanta Sports broadband died for a minute, missed the build-up...)

Two minutes to go, Gareth Rees names Rua Tipoki the Man of the Match.

Very organized defence by Maori all night - every time Canada spins ball, it always looks like 4 or 5 Canadian backs running at 8 defenders, with no room to operate.

79 min. Maori attacking, Morgan Williams claims turnover. No advantage, no time on clock, ref blows whistle for full-time.

FINAL: Maori 59 Canada 23.

Hurricanes and Maori lock Kristian Ormsby interviewed post-match ~ he compliments Canada's gutsy effort and believes come RWC they will come into form and be competitive.

All good lessons for Canada's development. If they can tighten up their defence, make their kicks to touch, and concentrate for a full 80 minutes, as Al Charron says, they will run teams like the Maori closer. Nonetheless, the Maori were clearly deserved winners.



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