Rabbitohs players Campbell Graham and Ky Rodwell have led the Australian Schoolboys to victory in their first Test match against the New Zealand under 18s, winning 26-18 yesterday (Tuesday) at Puketawhero Park in Rotorua.
Graham was named co-captain of the Australian side alongside St George Illawarra’s Zac Lomax.
Graham was named in the centres with Rodwell starting at prop in the first match of the tour. The Australians led 20-6 at half time and went on with it to win in the wet conditions.
Rodwell opened the scoring for the Australians in the 15th minute and the Aussies would go on to win four-tries-to-three.
Australian Schoolboys Coach, Tony Adam, told NZRL.co.nz: “It was an extremely physical contest where our boys were bombarded by a strong New Zealand attack – we also managed to adapt well to the wet conditions.
“Our side did well to keep turning up even when the Kiwi boys came at them with seven repeat sets.
“Before the match against the New Zealand 18s on Saturday, we’ll go away and reflect on our game structures, we’ve still got improvements to make before then.”
New Zealand under 18s coach, Rangi Hiroti, said: “I’m proud of how the boys fought back in the second half after the Australian’s controlled play in the first 40 minutes.
“We applied a lot of pressure forcing turnovers and repeat sets to get us back in the game.
“To me, that goes to show that our boys put it all out on the field today.”
The second Test will be played this Saturday 30 September at Trust Stadium in Auckland.
Australian Schoolboys 26 (Ky Rodwell, David Fifita, Luke Huth, James Roumanos tries; Zac Lomax 5 goals)
New Zealand under 18s 18 (Dray Ngatuere-Wroe, Lewis Sio, Seth Tauamiti tries; Baylee Bentley-Hape 2 goals)