Spalding youngsters in last-gasp win over All Black hopefuls

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Legends have been born at Spalding Rugby Union club after its Under-12 side scored a memorable win over New Zealand tourists at Memorial Field.

Young Town took on East Tamaki Under-12s who were in the UK on a six-game tour having already played a London Irish junior side twice, winning 15-5 and losing 15-10.

Spalding U12s who had a dramatic win over East Tamaki U12 tourists from New Zealand at Memorial Field last Wednesday.

Spalding U12s who had a dramatic win over East Tamaki U12 tourists from New Zealand at Memorial Field last Wednesday.

East Tamaki Under-12s is part of New Zealand’s All-Sports Academy where children aged between five and 15 take their first steps the road to possible All Blacks recognition.

The tourists, made up of Maori, Tongan, Samoan and Cook Islands origins, took on Spalding in front of a large crowd last Wednesday and the game was played at a high tempo.

Fierce tackling and a high skill level marked the encounter, with Town going ahead first before East Tamaki equalised.

The sides were level going into the last minute when Spalding had an attacking scrum from which the scrum half broke blind and powered over for the winning try.

East Tamaki Under-12s of New Zealand do the haka outside Sheddy's Restaurant' in Spalding.''''.

East Tamaki Under-12s of New Zealand do the haka outside Sheddy's Restaurant' in Spalding.''''.

Kevin Wand, Under-12s coach, said: “The game was very even and played with a lot of physicality and pace as Spalding ended up winning by eight tries to seven.

“East Tamaki Under-12s boasted a Tongan international who certainly made his presence felt, but both teams played a good brand of rugby and didn’t take a backward step.

“The game was fine spectacle for everyone watching and the boys made lifetime friendships with each other in the clubhouse.”

Earlier in the day, the tourists enjoyed a guided tour of Spalding on the town’s water taxi before lunch at Sheddy’s Restaurant on New Road after stunning town centre shoppers with the traditional Maori war dance, the haka.

Andrew Freeman of Sheddy’s said: “I’ve been here 10 years and I’ve never had any cuustomers from New Zealand before.

“We’ve certainly never seen anything like the haka being done at the front of the restaurant, so we were privileged to feed them and it was nice to do this in support of the rugby club.”