The Maori responded almost immediately with a penalty from Tamati Ellison and two minutes later he added the conversion when Hosea Gear scored under the posts following a clever kick through by out-half Ellison.
Ireland refused to be daunted and quick feet and great acceleration from Keith Earls earned them their second try in the 11th minute. Sexton missed the conversion but moments later the Maori were reduced to 14 when prop Ben May was sin-binned but while he was off they responded with a try from full-back Shannon Paku after Declan Fitpatrick had been penalised and was fortunate not be yellow carded.
Ireland eventually had their number reduced when Frank Murphy was shown yellow and just before the break the Maori went further ahead when Ellison skipped over to lead 24-12 at the break.
With Murphy still in the bin John Hearty came on at the restart for Ross McCarron and Ireland immediately laid siege to the Maori line and were just held up short. But when they spread the ball wide the ball went to ground, Dwayne Sweeney swept up the loose ball and sent Hosea Gear racing clear to race in effortlessly from 45 metres.
Four minutes later the Maori used their pack to send May over and Ellison's conversion put them 38-12 in front and with Fitzpatrick forced off injured uncontested scrums were ordained. However there was to be no respite for the Irish, Aled de Malmanche making the initial yardage that ended in a second try for prop May. (45-12).
Ireland in fairness never dropped their heads and in the 70th minute after being stopped short under the posts they ran a penalty to telling effect with Cave getting his second try (45-17) but by then commentators were wondering if England Saxons could deny the Maori in the final on Saturday.
Nevertheless Ireland ended with a flourish when Sexton got hauled down short but Ireland retained possession, replacement Chris Keane swept the ball wide and another replacement, David Gannon raced over for a well worked try.
That wasn't the end of it though, the Maori having the final say with a try from Callum Bruce.
Ireland A: Ray Hogan (Declan Fitzpatrick) John Fogarty capt (Sean Cronin 48 mins) Michael Ross (David Gannon 63 mins) Ryan Caldwell Andrew Farley John O'Sullivan, Johnny O'Connor (Stephen Keogh 47 mins) Roger Wilson; Frank Murphy (Chris Keane 73 mins) Johnny Sexton; Johnny Murphy, Keith Earls (Seamus Mallon 52 mins) Darren Cave, Paul McKenzie, Ross McCarron (John Hearty ht).
New Zealand Maori: 1. Craig West 2. Aled de Malmanche 3. Ben May 4. Kristian Ormsby 5. Hayden Triggs 6. Angus Macdonald 7. Scott Waldrom/Tanerau Latimer 8. Warren Smith 9. Chris Smylie 10. Tamati Ellison 11. Anthony Tahana 12. Rua Tipoki (Captain) 13. Dwayne Sweeney 14. Hosea Gear 15. Shannon Paku. Replacements: 16. Luke Mahoney 17. Hoani Tui 18. Isaac Ross 19. Jarrad Hoeata 20. James Rodley 21. Callum Bruce 22. Pehi Te Whare.