Tourists show fighting spirit

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 September, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 September, 1994, 12:00am

AN enterprising performance from Australia's Northern Territory saw them defeat Hong Kong's Development XV 17-9 at the Mongkok Stadium last night.

The tourists' willingness to be more adventurous than the home team paid just dividends, as they scored three tries in the second half to erase a 0-9 deficit and score a well-deserved victory.

Three penalties put over by fly-half Andy Oxton gave the Development XV an unconvincing lead at the break. That lead was soon under threat as the visitors stormed back into the game.

Slick passing, safe hands and the strategy of the Northern Territory backline to run the ball at all times soon saw the home team's goalline under continuous siege in the second half.

The first breach came when flanker Chris Hodson sliced through to score after the Australians had opted to take two quick tap penalties than go for a goal kick.

Two defensive blunders resulted in the Northern Territory overhauling the Development XV. The first mistake came when Oxton tried to clear a loose ball with his feet instead of attempting to pick it up. His desperate hack saw the ball land neatly in the hands of scrum-half Aaron Gold who had the simple task of touching down with the goalline staring at him.

Mistake number two came two minutes later when the home team's full-back Keith Mitchell knocked, resulting in a scrum 10 metres from the line. The Australians won the ball and Lingman dummied his way through to score under the posts.

The Northern Territory will play their final game on tour, when they meet Hong Kong's national side for the second time on Saturday at Football Club.