League: Maori beat Murri Queensland

By Greg Taipari

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New Zealand Maori league player Jay Pukepuke makes a break through the Murri Queensland Indigenous side's defensive line during his team's 34-16 win at Puketawhero Park. Photo / Andrew Warner
New Zealand Maori league player Jay Pukepuke makes a break through the Murri Queensland Indigenous side's defensive line during his team's 34-16 win at Puketawhero Park. Photo / Andrew Warner

New Zealand Maori Rugby League side have secured a 2-0 series win over Murri Queensland Indigenous side.

Playing in front of more than 3000 spectators on Puketawhero Park on Saturday, it was the home side who put the first points on the board thanks to the high work rate of forwards Jay Pukepuke and Sam Rapira. The pair ran hard and often at the visitors' defensive line, often breaking the first tackle.

But despite the visitors having the bigger forwards, it was the Maori who started to find the pace hard to handle and it was Queensland wing man Marlo Doak who benefited, scoring a hat-trick of tries. His pace was blinding and he often looked dangerous with ball in hand.

However, in the second spell the Maori started to get on top of the visitors, piling on five tries to the visitors' one.

Maori prop Tony Tuia managed to get himself 10 minutes in the bin for tacking exception to a cheap shot put on him by an over-zealous Queensland forward.

But Tuia got the last laugh when he crashed over for a try, not long after getting back on the field.

The prop managed to get his name in the conversion column as well when he cheekily kicked the last conversion of the game after halfback Cody Walker had lined it up on the kicking tee.

Walker also had a solid game with the nippy little halfback converting four of his side's conversions from five attempts.

Scorers: NZ Maori 34 (K Samson, T Dow-Nikau, S Waetford, T Tuia, R Bristow, H Mihaka tries; C Walker 4 cons, T Tuia 1 con) Queensland Indigenous 16 (M Doak 3 tries; W Conlon 2 cons) Halftime: 6-10.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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