New Zealand Wins 2017 Oceania U20 Championship
Click HERE post-match interview with New Zealand captain
New Zealand beat Australia 43-6 in the final round of the Oceania Rugby U20s Championship meaning that New Zealand take the trophy for the third consecutive year.
Australia started well, but were unable to turn early territorial gains into sustained pressure, allowing New Zealand to run away with the match.
With a number of players unavailable for the match due to Super Rugby commitments, the Australia U20s will look to return to a full complement when the squad for the World Rugby U20s Championship is named on Sunday 7 May.
BMW Australia U20s Head Coach, Simon Cron said: “New Zealand was a really good side. Their catch and pass was good, as was there running lines which is probably the area that let us down.
“I thought defensively some of the boys did a lot of work in that forward pack, in the backs we didn’t complete many launch plays. It’s hard to attack when you drop the ball off the first phase.
In the opening stages of the match, Australia dominated possession and territory as they starved New Zealand of the ball in the opening exchanges. Harry Nucifora scored the first points of the match for the men in gold as he gave the home side a 3-0 lead.
New Zealand were able to earn possession and score their first points of the match off the back of a dominant scrum within the Australian red zone with Captain Luke Jacobson diving over for the try.
New Zealand continued to test the Australian defence taking their lead to 3-10 through a penalty kick through flyhalf Tiaan Falcon.
New Zealand added to the scoreboard despite an aggressive defensive effort by the Australians as Isaia Walker-Leawere crossed the line after several phases of attack taking the score to 3-17.
Harry Nucifora kept the Australians in touch with a second penalty kick but a try to New Zealand fullback, Will Jordan brought the score to 6-24 in favour of the visitors. New Zealand complied Australia’s issues with another try through the backs as centre Tamati Ruka Tua scored in the corner to take a 6-29 lead.
A late surge in the first half by New Zealand led to an infringement by Harry Nucifora who was sent to the sin bon on the cusp of half time.
New Zealand shot out of the blocks in the second half and continued to ask questions of the Australian defence as tries to Tom Christie and Luke Jacobson extended the lead to 6-43.
Australia fought hard in the final stages to cross the line but were unable to crack the New Zealand defence as the game wore on, leaving the score at 6-43 at full time.
New Zealand 43 (Luke Jacobson, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Will Jordan, Tamati Ruka Tua, Tom Christie, Luke Jacobson tries; Tiaan Falcon 5 cons; Tiaan Falcon pens) defeated Australia 6 (Harry Nucifora 2 pens)
In the second match of Round 3 Samoa produced an amazing second half to beat Fiji 39-29 after Fiji led 22-10 at half-time.
Samoa outscored Fiji five tries to four in the end as Samoa stormed home after an impressive first 40 minutes by Fiji. Samoan fullback Ricky Ene was impressive wit the boot kicking 3 penalties and four conversions.The win put Samoa third in the Championship.
Samoa 39 (Ivan Fepuleai, Oikimene Paisami, Pupi Ah See 2, Setu Enoka tries, Ricky Ene 4 cons, 3 pens) Fiji 29 (Veramua Turagavola, Ratu Peni Matawalu, Poniani Batiniu, Jamie John Kotz tries, Jamie John Kotz 3 cons, 1 pen)
Oceania Rugby Under 20 Championship - Final table