Rangi Teirney scored a double in a Man of the Match effort to guide the Perth Kiwis to a 26-24 win over Perth City in the Under 18’s NRL WA ANZAC Challenge at Dorrien Gardens.
The five-eight was instrumental around the park as the Kiwis claimed the bragging rights.
“It’s pretty special, I’ve never had the chance to represent my country,” Teirney said.
“It’s been a couple of years since the Kiwis have won this, so it’s been a privilege.”
After watching City prevail 24-0 in the Women’s League Tag, the Kiwis raced out to a 14-0 lead within the opening 21 minutes – tries to Ace Maki, Jaden Tuhakaraina and Kyran Namana putting the New Zealanders in control of the contest.
City were sluggish to start – fullback Billy Judge dropping a high ball in the lead-up to the opening try of the game, before Alex Harmer’s pass was intercepted by Tuhakaraina to set up the third try.
Tuhakaraina had two interceptions in the opening half an hour as City struggled in the attacking third.
It took City until 10 minutes before the break to get on the board – second-rower Will Smith barraging over in the corner after some weak defence down the Kiwi’s right edge.
City burst out of the blocks to start the second half as they looked to cut into the Kiwi’s lead.
A tactical change resulted in five-eight Jack Holt becoming more involved in the game, with the West Coast Pirates playmaker setting up tries to Ethan Gudiri and Judge to make it a two-point game.
It then became the Rangi Teirney show, as the Kiwi captain grabbed a 12-minute double with two bull-dozing runs to break the spine of City’s defence.
Hooker Beau Constable’s brilliant solo effort and Michael Collins-Davis’ try four minutes from time sent some nerves through the Kiwis camp, but their defence held firm as they clinched a hard-fought 26-24 win.