NZ Maori 31-28 Ireland, Rotorua, June 18
Messam hails 'awesome' achievement
June 18, 2010

Liam Messam has hailed an "awesome" achievement for the New Zealand Maori following their victory over Ireland in Rotorua.

Flanker Messam skippered the side to a 31-28 victory against the tourists to secure another international scalp in the Maori's centenary season.

"It's awesome for Maori rugby, what's happened," he said. "It's a bit of history for Maori rugby so I'm proud of the boys. We can't wipe the smile of the boys' faces in the changing room at the moment. They're really stoked at what they've done."

Coach Jamie Joseph sounded a note of caution prior to Wednesday's meeting with England however. The Maori were 18-3 up early on before letting slip their advantage due to a raft of penalties and Joseph wants to see them tighten up.

"We let the opposition back in the game, so that was addressed at halftime," he said. "The players need to know how to maintain pressure and that will be something we will focus on going into the next match."

Irish skipper Geordan Murphy said the result was a frustrating one for the visitors, who now head to Brisbane for a test against Australia next week.

"Ultimately it was our mistakes that cost us," Murphy said. "In the second half, we maybe got a little too loose. We possibly should have played a few more phases. We tried a couple of offloads when potentially we could have held on to the ball and put them under a bit more pressure. It's difficult when you play a game like that not to try to throw the 50-50 passes."


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