Will Jordan scored a try on the final play to clinch a 38-35 victory for the South over the North in New Zealand’s first inter-island match since 2012.
The winger rose highest to claim Richie Mo’unga’s cross-field kick in the fifth minute of added time to claim his second try of an entertaining contest in Wellington.
Nepo Laulala, Jordie Barrett and Tyrel Lomax also scored tries for the South, who had taken a 31-21 lead midway through the second half only to squander the biggest advantage of the match.
Centre Rieko Ioane scored two tries for the North while Damien McKenzie, Aaron Smith and Ash Dixon also crossed in the match between composite sides representing the country’s two main islands.
The game was once a regular fixture on the New Zealand rugby calendar but had only been played twice since 1986 before Saturday’s game at Wellington Regional Stadium.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster, who will name his first squad on Sunday, said prior to the game that it would probably have little impact on his final selections.
Several players, however, continued their strong form from Super Rugby Aotearoa, with Blues No 8 Hoskins Sotutu making a massive impression after almost two months out due to a knee injury.
The 22-year-old produced several important tackles, was strong with the ball in hand and secured turnovers at the breakdown and proved he could step into the spot vacated by Kieran Read after last year’s Rugby World Cup.
Ioane’s elder brother Akira and Blues winger Caleb Clarke also impressed.
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