Australia Sneaks Away With Men’s Open Win
Australia has come from behind in the first test of the Men’s Open series to run away with the game in the final minute against New Zealand, 5-4.
Not a lot separated the two teams in last year’s World Cup final and the rematch lived up to expectations, going down to the wire with the game there for the taking for both teams.
New Zealand was the first team to make the most of their opportunities, with Riley O’Donnell the recipient of a great long ball to score in the far corner of the field.
The Australians were quick to hit back, with a Dylan Hennessey long ball finding Matt Tope on the wing who scored his first touchdown as an Australian Men’s Open representative, to level the game up at 1-all.
While most Australian versus New Zealand games are high scoring affairs with plenty of attacking flair from both sides, the teams were unable to capitalise on their opportunities for the rest of the first half, with the sides locked up 1-all at half-time.
New Zealand were quick to claim the lead back in the early exchanges of the second half, with Ruamai Erueti scoring on the wing off the back of another great long ball, taking a one touchdown advantage.
Matt Prowse scored his first touchdown of the game soon after to level the score at 2-all, after he received a great Dylan Hennessey long ball to the wing.
The Kiwis reclaimed their one touchdown lead when Tama Guthrie scored, before an individual effort from Hennessey locked the game up at three touchdowns-a-piece.
Tama Guthrie scored his second touchdown of the game to give New Zealand a 4-3 lead with just five minutes remaining in the half, before Prowse was again on the receiving end of another great Hennessey ball to level it up.
Australia then took the lead for the first time in the game when Hennessey set up Rob Nakhla to score in the corner with approximately a minute remaining.
New Zealand was unable to hit back, with Australia claiming the first game of the series by one touchdown, 5-4.
To view highlights of the game, please click on the link below to be taken to the TFA YouTube channel:
Australia – 5 (Matt Prowse 2, Dylan Hennessey, Matt Tope, Robert Nakhla) defeated New Zealand – 4 (Tama Guthrie 2, Ruamai Ereuti, Riley O’Donnell).
Referees – David Baggio, Miah Williams, Dale Lawrence
Australia - 5 (Matthew Prowse 2, Dylan Hennessey, Robert Nakhla and Matt Tope) defeated New Zealand - 4 (Tama Guthrie, Ruamai Erueti and Riley O'Donnell)
Half time: Australia 1 - New Zealand 1
Referees - David Baggio, MIah Williams and Dale Lawrence