NZ Heartland XV edge NZ Marist
Saturday, November 5, 2016 allblacks.com John Kirkup
It stayed that way until half time, but whether it was the half time talk, or the local Marist crowd that slowly found their voice, but Marist came back into the game with a couple of quick tries of their own. First was a penalty try from a scrum that was growing in confidence and causing the Heartland XV trouble under their own feed. The second try for Marist was one of the Heartland Unions own, in the young flyer Simon Lilicama from the Athletic Marist club in North Otago. Showing a good step and pace, Lilicama’s try and the tight conversion by fullback Hamish Strachan, tied the game up at 14 all.
From there it was an arm wrestle, with Marist throwing caution to the wind and putting pressure on the Heartland pack. But the response was good and after some end to end moves from both teams, it took a concerted effort on the Marist line for the Heartland Captain Keiran Coll to muscle his way over to break the dead lock.
The Heartland XV will be happy with the hit out with the two games against strong Fijian opposition to come. The good performance won’t create too many selection issues for coaches Barry Matthews and Mutu Ngarimu as all players did enough to be considered or the first game of the Fijian tour against Nadi on Tuesday evening.
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