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Waikato scored a ridiculously good coast-to-coast try against Auckland

Anton Lienert-Brown got three touches in a remarkable passage of attacking play.

ANYONE WONDERING HOW it is that New Zealand rugby continues to churn out exceptional players could do worse than tuning into the ITM Cup.

There are many other reasons why the Kiwis are world leaders, but this tier of competition in New Zealand is vitally important. One level below Super Rugby, the ITM Cup is where stars of the future are tested against experienced non-internationals, as well as All Blacks who are in need of game time or have missed out on Steve Hansen’s squad.

The quality of rugby on offer is generally very strong and, more often the not, extremely exciting.

Source: NZAUTV Rugby Union/YouTube

The above try from Waikato during their 50-28 defeat to Auckland is one of the latest illustrations. Auckland looked set to score after 20-year-old openside Mitchell Karpick’s break down the right, but Waikato scrambled and counter punched.

Scrum-half Brad Weber pulled off the recovery, before Dylan Collier released 20-year-old centre Anton Lienert-Brown on the counter.

After a quick recycle wide on the right, 18-year-old Shaun Stevenson fullback – his name is one to note – set Lienert-Brown on the burst again, the centre then offloading inside to James Tucker.

The second row offloaded wonderfully to 20-year-old out-half Damian McKenzie, who did the same to tee up the hard working Lienert-Brown for the try with his third touch of the passage.

Auckland scored seven tries of their own to win a thrilling game, as future Ulsterman Charles Piutau started in the 13 shirt.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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