Rugby League: Junior Kiwis score freakish try in loss to Junior Kangaroos

A freakish try assist from Chanel Harris-Tavita has left fans and commentators stunned in the Junior Kiwis' 40-24 defeat to the Junior Kangaroos at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.

Harris-Tavita shocked the rugby league world with what is likely rugby league's first-ever try scored off a scorpion kick.

In the 17th minute of their clash, the Kiwis were attacking down the left side of the field on the last tackle, when Harris-Tavita put in a behind-the-back heel kick, which he regathered and then offloaded the ball to Isaiah Papali'i to score for the hosts' only lead of the game.  

The four-pointer left Sky Sports New Zealand commentators Te Arahi Maipi stunned.

"You’re kidding," said the shocked Maipi.

"I think the entire stadium's in a little bit of disbelief … it was magic. I think that's going to get about five million views on YouTube."

Overall the Kiwis put up a brave fight against their rivals, but Australia were a class above in a high-scoring affair.

Despite having more possession in the first half, the Kiwis trailed 24-16 at the break.

Australia stamped their mark on the game early when forward Louis Geraghty crashed over in the second minute of the match.

Sean Mullany scooted from dummy-half to get New Zealand on the board which was followed up by Papali'I try.

Isaiah Papali'i scores for New Zealand.
Isaiah Papali'i scores for New Zealand. Photo credit: Photosport

But the slim lead didn't last long, as Australia scored three tries in 11 minutes, with replacement forwards Thomas Flegler and Tino Faasuamaleaui, and fullback Corey Allan all scoring.

Jackson Ferris scored after the half-time siren for New Zealand's third try of the match.

A mistake near the halfway line early in the second half by Harris-Tavita gifted the Junior Roos excellent field possession and they capitalised, as Enari Tuala scored in the corner.

New Zealand hit back almost immediately with two-game Warrior Joseph Vuna scoring.

Faasuamaleaui scored his second try of the game to give Australia a 14-point buffer heading into the final quarter.

But Steven Marsters leaped through the air and grabbed the ball for New Zealand's fifth of the game to set up a thrilling finish.

Australia had the last laugh though, as Tuala scored the last try of the game.

The Kangaroos have now won their last three encounters over the Junior Kiwis. 

It was the first game of a tripleheader between Australia and New Zealand in Auckland, with the Kiwi Ferns next facing the Jillaroos, followed by the Kiwis vs Kangroos test.