Walker-Leawere scores twice in 59-22 rout

An at-times entertaining but predictable victory for the New Zealand Maori over the USA in Chicago did not come without its negatives, with three Maori players sinbinned.

Hooker Ash Dixon, lock Pari Pari Parkinson and replacement hooker Robbie Abel were all sent from the Soldier Field pitch during the 59-22 win, with skipper Dixon and Parkinson off together at the end of the second half.

Dixon saw yellow for pulling down an attacking maul, with Abel binned for not releasing a tackled attacker, but Parkinson’s action was far more serious — an ugly body slam of a tackle on Shaun Davies that caused the halfback to leave the field for a head injury assessment from which he didn’t return.

There were strong words, too, directed by the referee to prop Chris Eves because of the way the official was being spoken to, so there will be a spotlight on the visitors’ discipline after this match — the third of a triple-header after the Black Ferns thrashed their USA counterparts and Ireland did likewise to Italy (54-7).

The yellow card for Parkinson blighted an otherwise excellent performance, with his second-row teammate Isaia Walker-Leawere also impressing. Walker-Leawere, a 21-year-old Hurricanes and Wellington player in his first game for the Maori, scored two tries in five minutes; the first, 18 seconds after halftime, via a spectacular 50-metre run.

If the All Blacks have an area they would like to strengthen it is lock so the performance by the pair was both timely and encouraging.

Left wing Regan Ware was lively early on, with first-five Otere Black directing play well and Rob Thompson a force in the midfield. Right wing Jonah Lowe’s break after the re-start led to Walker-Leawere’s superb try. Up front, Ben May put in a brilliant shift defensively in front of the standout second-rowers, with flanker Mitch Karpik busy. No.8 Akira Ioane continued his excellent form for Auckland and first-five Josh Ioane, the 23-year-old Highlander, impressed with his composure and attacking instincts.

NZ Maori 59 (Isaia Walker-Leawere 2, Regan Ware, Mitchell Karpik, Ash Dixon, Ben May, Rob Thompson, Jonah Lowe, Shaun Stevenson tries; Otere Black 5 con, Josh Ioane 2 con)

USA 22 (Ryan Matyas, Tim Maupin, Cam Dolan tries; Will Hooley pen, 2 con).

HT: 26-8.

An at-times entertaining but predictable victory for the New Zealand Maori over the USA in Chicago did not come without its negatives, with three Maori players sinbinned.

Hooker Ash Dixon, lock Pari Pari Parkinson and replacement hooker Robbie Abel were all sent from the Soldier Field pitch during the 59-22 win, with skipper Dixon and Parkinson off together at the end of the second half.

Dixon saw yellow for pulling down an attacking maul, with Abel binned for not releasing a tackled attacker, but Parkinson’s action was far more serious — an ugly body slam of a tackle on Shaun Davies that caused the halfback to leave the field for a head injury assessment from which he didn’t return.

There were strong words, too, directed by the referee to prop Chris Eves because of the way the official was being spoken to, so there will be a spotlight on the visitors’ discipline after this match — the third of a triple-header after the Black Ferns thrashed their USA counterparts and Ireland did likewise to Italy (54-7).

The yellow card for Parkinson blighted an otherwise excellent performance, with his second-row teammate Isaia Walker-Leawere also impressing. Walker-Leawere, a 21-year-old Hurricanes and Wellington player in his first game for the Maori, scored two tries in five minutes; the first, 18 seconds after halftime, via a spectacular 50-metre run.

If the All Blacks have an area they would like to strengthen it is lock so the performance by the pair was both timely and encouraging.

Left wing Regan Ware was lively early on, with first-five Otere Black directing play well and Rob Thompson a force in the midfield. Right wing Jonah Lowe’s break after the re-start led to Walker-Leawere’s superb try. Up front, Ben May put in a brilliant shift defensively in front of the standout second-rowers, with flanker Mitch Karpik busy. No.8 Akira Ioane continued his excellent form for Auckland and first-five Josh Ioane, the 23-year-old Highlander, impressed with his composure and attacking instincts.

NZ Maori 59 (Isaia Walker-Leawere 2, Regan Ware, Mitchell Karpik, Ash Dixon, Ben May, Rob Thompson, Jonah Lowe, Shaun Stevenson tries; Otere Black 5 con, Josh Ioane 2 con)

USA 22 (Ryan Matyas, Tim Maupin, Cam Dolan tries; Will Hooley pen, 2 con).

HT: 26-8.

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