NZ Hawks no match for AIS
Wednesday, February 01 2012 @ 12:00 am ACDT
Contributed by: Rod Shaw
In the eagerly anticipated first Australian football match between the two countries at any level, the Under-17 AIS-AFL Academy squad overcame the New Zealand Hawks by 91 points at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday.
After the Kiwis performed a stirring rendition of the haka, they got the jump on the Aussies in the first quarter with former Fremantle Docker forward Adam Campbell helping the home team to a five-point lead at the first break.
The Australians, coached by Brisbane Lions triple-premiership player Chris Johnson, hit back in the second quarter, kicking six goals-to-none to open a 31-point lead at half-time.
New Zealand showed it could compete with the best Under-17 players in Australia in the third term, delighting the enthusiastic crowd and showcasing the potential the code has in the South Pacific.
Australia booted well clear in the last quarter to leave an unflattering scoreboard after a tighter tussle for three quarters.
The AFL has committed to return to New Zealand in 2013.
New Zealand 4.1 4.3 6.3 6.3 (39)
Australia 3.2 9.4 12.12 19.16 (130)
Australia: Jack Billings 4, Jack Martin 3, Clayton McCartney 2, Luke Dunstan 2, Dylan Loo, Ben Lennon, Jess Hogan, Cain Tickner, Billy Hartung, Sam Garstone, Dallas Willsmore, Matt Scharenberg
New Zealand: Adam Campbell 2, Andrew Christenson, Kurt Heatherley, Shem Tatupu, Khan Haretuku
Australia: Jack Billings, Luke McDonald, Billy Hartung, Jess Hogan, James Aish, Ben Lennon, Luke Dunstan, Matt Scharenberg
New Zealand: Kurt Heatherley, Michael Gregson, Adam Campbell, Andrew Chrighton, Sami Tuitiupo, Khan Haretuku
Full story and Wayne Schwass video at http://www.afl.com.au/news/newsarticle/tabid/208/newsid/128298/default.aspx
Photos courtesy of http://juntanlaycosports.com/p34021189