Dixon try completes job for Maori ABs

Date published: July 11 2015

Replacement back-row Elliot Dixon's converted try helped the Maori All Blacks secure a come-from-behind 27-26 win over Fiji in Suva on Saturday.

The man-of-the-match in the Super Rugby Final came on to score with less than ten minutes to play before fly-half Otere Black sent over the extra two points.

Fiji had led 10-26 at the interval after an impressive opening that saw full-back Kini Murimurivalu finish off down the left sideline, inside two minutes in Suva.

Maori All Black wing Rieko Ioane hit back with a try off a scrum before the half-hour mark which made it 10-11, but then Fiji clicked into gear with a Nemani Nadolo trademark finish down the left wing adding to his earlier penalty kick.

Fiji captain Akapusi Qera then crashed over to extend their lead to sixteen.

Colin Cooper's charges needed to respond after the turnaround and a Marty McKenzie penalty reduced the scoreline to 13-26 before the elusive Damian McKenzie slipped across. Suddenly it was 20-26 with the contest reaching its final fifteen minutes. Fiji were now holding on as the benches were utilised.

But it didn't take much longer for the Maori All Blacks to complete the job when Dixon powered over from close range and Black did the rest off the tee, with the visitors seeing out the match to extend their fine winning streak to nineteen games.

The scorers:

For Fiji:
Tries: Murimurivalu, Nadolo, Qera
Con: Matavesi
Pen: Nadolo 3

For Maori All Blacks:
Tries: R Ioane, D McKenzie, Dixon
Con: M McKenzie 2, Black
Pen: M McKenzie 2

Fiji: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Benito Masilevu, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Gabby Lovobalavu, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Josh Matavesi, 9 Nemia Kenatale, 8 Akapusi Qera (c), 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Tuapati Talemaitoga, 1 Campese Ma'afu.
Replacements: 16 Villiame Veikoso, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Isei Calati, 19 Nemia Soqeta, 20 Masi Matadigo, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Ben Volavola, 23 Napolioni Nalaga.

Maori All Blacks: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Rieko Ioane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Charlie Ngatai (c), 11 Kurt Baker, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Mitchell Crosswell, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Jacob Skeen, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Otere Black, 23 Jason Emery.

Venue: ANZ National Stadium, Suva
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Rohan Hoffman (Australia)