Lightning doesn’t strike twice for unlucky Kiwis
3 May 2019 @ 15:00 UTC
A high voltage Men's 45s final was stopped just 2 minutes from full-time by a dangerous outburst of lightning and thunder.
The thunder struck just after the Aussies took a 5-4 lead. This was the first time the Emus had their beaks in front in the torrid and spiteful game that often resembled a Hong Kong Sevens final.
At the 38th minute mark, both teams were forced from the field as a hooter blew. The Emus believing they'd won the match celebrated prematurely. However, the siren was part of the Federation of International Touch's weather protocols that have come into play regularly in the tropical conditions in Putrajaya.
Before the teams headed to the dressing shed to take shelter the storm, the busy Alan Woods and Matt Barclay had each grabbed a double for the Aussies with Steele Tallon also crossing for a touchdown. For the Kiwis, dangerous captain-coach, Peter Walter scored the first for the Kiwis, after combining with Stephen Freundlich.
Others to cross the stripe for the Kiwis were Tony Wiperi-Karauria, who was forced off with a knee injury and Barry Muir.
When the teams returned, both sides only had a couple of sets with the ball before the final whistle. Unfortunately, for the Kiwis, two minutes wasn't enough to push the game to a drop-off, although there was still one more twist.
With less than twenty seconds on the clock, Darren Robson scooped and broke through a tangle of bodies. With the Aussie defenders in hot pursuit, Robson was able to make it to the line. However, the unlucky Kiwi ran from half and therefore was unable to score. The touchdown, despite some objections from the New Zealand camp, was disallowed.
Emus captain, David Roberts said after the game that the heart-stopping result was like his last world cup win in 2015 in the Men's 40s. "They played well they are great athletes. We just tried to keep the crowd excited."
Apart from MVP Paul Thomasson, The Emu's skipper singled Corey McLeod on the wing, Gerard O'Keeffe and Darren McSpadden. "Darren played well all tournament."
Article by Anthony O'Brien