Hosea hat-trick lifts Maori

Hosea Gear scored three tries in the New Zealand Maori’s 35-28 win over England on Wednesday.

The Maori showed remarkable resolve to fight back from two substantial deficits. They suffered an early setback when England raced to a 13-0 lead, as Steffon Armitage’s try and Charlie Hodgson boot saw England gain reward for dominance. Their response was a 17-point blitz as Liam Messam and Gear’s tries were converted by Luke McAlister, who also managed to slot a penalty.

Some slack defending allowed the English back into the game. Scrumhalf Danny Care coasted through a gap at the back of the lineout while Chris Ashton also touched down right before half-time.

But Gear scored two tries in the opening eight minutes to ensure the Maori reclaimed the lead. Some accurate kicking by replacement Willie Ripia helped the hosts build a buffer, and England struggled to penetrate the Maori defence in the final minutes.