The New Zealand Maori side has beaten Ireland in Rotorua 31-28, the match part of a series to commemorate the centenary of the formation of the first official Maori rugby team in New Zealand. The victory is the latest against international sides for the Maori, who have also beaten England, Argentina, Scotland, Fiji, and the British and Irish Lions since the game went professional. “It’s awesome, the boys really dug in for 8 minutes and showed their character towards the end there,” Maori captain Liam Messam said. “It’s 1 years and I think we celebrated it the right way.” “We gave ourselves a real mountain to climb,” Irish captain Geordan Murphy said. New Zealand Maori next play England in Napier on June 23.