It was a scrappy match up today as Waikato 20s met the traveling France U19s in wet conditions at the foot of the Hakarimatas in Ngaruawahia.
Tensions were high after the conclusion of La Marseillaise and the Waikato Haka with France starting in high gear with two back to back tries. Waikato would bite back with their own successive tries to take the lead into half time 16 – 12.
Midway through the second half, try scorer Waikato number five Arama Moana, was sent to the bin with a high tackle. With one less man on the field Waikato number nineteen, Te Wakaroa Tonga scored a try after a strong defensive display on the Waikato try line.
Unfortunately for Waikato, the inspiration didn’t last long, France was on the comeback. French sixteen Lima scored his second try of the match, followed by a try from Dorce-Hantz sealing the deal for France.
France beat Waikato 28-18 in the end. The real test for the French comes Thursday when they take on the New Zealand Resident 18s in Rotorua.
Friday 27 September 2019 – Nga Puna Wai, Christchurch
Canterbury Invitation XIII vs. France U19s; 5pm kick off
Monday 30 September 2019 – Ngaruawahia, Waikato
Waikato 20s vs. France U19s; 4pm kick off
Thursday 3 October 2019 – International Stadium, Rotorua
New Zealand Resident 18s vs. France U19s; 6:30 kick off
Sunday 6 October 2019 – Pulman Park, Auckland
New Zealand Resident 16s vs. TOA 16s; 10:30am
Auckland 19s vs. France U19s; 12:15pm
New Zealand Resident 18s vs. TOA 18s; 2:00pm