New Zealand Thrash Samoa While England Are Lucky To Draw With The Maori

International Rugby League is a funny thing. You always get the feeling that its held together with sticky tape and rubber bands.

Whether its the expert commentary team from England stuffing up players names from the opposition they have clearly never seen, depspite the fact these players are regular NRL players, to the Kiwi commentators calling for the return of David Solomona and Ali Lauitiiti to the NRL despite the fact both are big, fat, disgusting liabilities.

The smallish crowds, the entire areas of the standium that are shut, its just the type of stuff you have to come to expect.

So, what did I think of these two games:

England vs the New Zealand Maori
England have got off to a less than stellar start to their tour of Australia and New Zealand with a lucky 18 all draw with the New Zealand Maori in Auckland.

England looked pretty good in the first half, while the Maori looked terrible. The Poms has lost Adrian Morley early in the match with what may be a broken arm, that hasn’t been announced yet.

I had to watch the game online so I missed the first try but the second and third tries by England came off of lazy Maori defense. That was a worry for me. On top of that, the England defense out wide, its a mess.

Coming into the second half, England really should have kicked on. The Maori completely changed their game plan however and really showed how you beat Northern Hemisphere teams.

The Maori made England make decisions in defense. Couple that with a clear cut advantage in the fitness department, and the Maori were on a huge role when the 60 minute mark hit.

With the scores tied coming into the final minutes of the match, the Maori had a field goal attempt blocked and that was about all she wrote.

New Zealand Kiwis vs Samoa
After watching England suck, it was good to see a quality football team take the paddock.

While the Kiwi’s looked a bit off the pace early on, once they got clicking they looked sensational.

They played smart. As Samoa looked to turn the game into a forward battle and threw a million offloads, the New Zealand side kept their heads and used their speed and mobility advantage to good effect.

Later into the contest, as Samoa tired, the Kiwi’s really started to turn it on. It was just the type of hit out I think they needed. It allowed their halves to work on a few things, their backs to get plenty of ball and their forwards now have a run in their legs after a few weeks off after the NRL season.

Samoa were disappointing, however you can’t expect much more from them when they play so few games. They were definitely hurt by the poor fitness levels a few of their players carried into this game.

So as we look towards next week, England will be worried and New Zealand will be confident.

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