Australia and New Zealand Set for JWC Title Showdown
Defending champions New Zealand will seek to win their third successive IRB Junior World Championship title by beating first-time finalists Australia at Estadio El Coloso del Parque in Rosario on Monday, June 21.
More than 80,000 fans have already attended 24 thrilling matches in Rosario, Santa Fe and Parana over the past 16 days, enjoying exceptional Rugby from the future stars of the world game in a festival atmosphere.
The final day will not only determine the champions and runners-up, but will also rank the teams from third to 12th, with the bottom placed side dropping down to the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2011.
The two finalists have provided some of the most memorable performances in the tournament so far, scoring 54 tries between them, amassing 395 points over their four matches.
“This is the biggest thing, it doesn't get much bigger than this and I am really looking forward to it. There is big rivalry between the countries and they are a great side, a lot of attacking flair. We are going to have to play well and it is just an exciting prospect," said New Zealand captain Tyler Bleyendaal.
His Australian counterpart Jake Schatz added: "Both teams are naturally attacking, that’s the way we play, I am sure it will be quick ball all round and very exciting for the crowd."
Coach Nucifora says the Young Wallabies hold the belief they can hand the Baby Blacks their first JWC defeat since the tournament’s inception in 2008.
“We’re used to playing Kiwis, we play them all the time so they don’t really hold that same aura that they may do for other teams,” Nucifora said.
“Our boys play them from a young age, through school quite often, so I suppose we’re used to competing with them and we know if we go out there and we match up and do our best, we are more than capable of beating them.
“It’ll take 80 minutes of commitment. If you let your guard down even for a small period of time, they’re the type of team that will punish you.
“They’re got good attacking players, like ourselves, so the team that copes with pressure and absorbs pressure and can deliver on point-scoring opportunities when they present themselves, will win.”
www.irb.com/jwc will bring you all the action as it happens from the final, plus live coverage of the third place play-off. If you miss either match live, you can watch them on demand.