Mathew Tait of Leicester Tigers is tackled by Kade Poki.
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
The New Zealand Maori have today suffered a first-up
defeat on their three match tour of the United Kingdom, losing
to the Leicester Tigers 32-24.
Jamie Joseph's Maori team outscored the Tigers three tries to
two at Welford Road but first-five George Ford punished the
visitors with his accurate goalkicking. Ford scored 22 points
with his two conversions and six penalties.
Maori halfback Frae Wilson scored his side's first try but
the visitors were quickly on the back foot as they conceded
tries to Tigers wings Niall Morris and Adam Thompstone. At
26-7 down, the Maori were looking at a demoralising defeat
but a Willie Ripia penalty and converted try from second-five
Tim Bateman put them back in touch at 26-14. Another Ripia
penalty narrowed the halftime gap to 26-17.
Centre Charlie Ngatai scored the only try of the second half
but the Tigers' defence and regular errors from the Maori
conspired against Joseph's men.
Their next match is against a Championship Select XV on
Sunday (NZT), before they play Canada at Oxford University on
Leicester Tigers 32 (Niall Morris, Adam Thompstone tries;
George Ford 2 cons, 6 pens) bt NZ Maori 24 (Frae Wilson, Tim
Bateman, Charlie Ngatai tries; Willie Ripia 3 cons, pen). HT: