Australia and New Zealand Remain Undefeated in Junior Championships

Oceania Rugby, Tue May 5, 2015 6:23PM

Australia vs Japan (Photo: Sportography)

Match 1, Round 2: New Zealand 36 Samoa 14

The New Zealand U20’s side has won their second match of the Oceania Rugby Junior Championship defeating Samoa 36-14 at Bond University on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.

New Zealand scored five tries to Samoa’s two in what was often a brutal clash between the two nations.

New Zealand U20’s Head Coach, Scott Robertson was relieved his side was able to overcome Samoa.

“Tough sums it up. They forced us into errors, they were really aggressive and they got off the line. We couldn’t get any continuity or tempo.”
“When you play a team like this you have do those micro things around the breakdown really well and the game can flow from there.”
“It was great to have this sort of game before we get to the World Cup.”
“We’re really excited (to play Australia). We’ll get a new 15 out for us and it gives our players to play for places and to play for a trophy.”

It took New Zealand twenty seconds into the match to see the first opportunity to gain points after Samoa were penalised for not rolling away. However, flyhalf, Fletcher Smith was unable to convert the opportunity from the corner leaving the scores at 0-0.

Samoa’s ferocious defence led to Uini Fetalaiga scoring the first try of the match, off the back of a turnover. Even despite New Zealand’s desperate try line defence they were unable to hold out the powerful Samoa forward pack.

With the successful conversion by Malu Falaniko the score went to 7-0 in favour of Samoa.

After several phases within the Samoan defensive zone, New Zealand finally cracked Samoa’s defence with a try to flanker Dillon Hunt to take the score to 7-5 in favour of Samoa.

New Zealand continued to push and scored their second try of the match through Wesley Goosen, who dodged the covering Samoan defence to finish a great try in the corner.

The successful conversion from Fletcher Smith brought the score to 7-12 favouring New Zealand.

With two more tries and one successful conversion, the score stood at 7-24 by half time, in favour of New Zealand.

Samoa came out from the sheds a fired up outfit as they looked to rectify their loss of concentration at the end of the first half and Marco Fepulea’I dived from the base of the ruck to score Samoa’s second try and take the score to 14-24.

The match was a seesawing battle of momentum as both sides attempted to dominate the breakdown to create attacking opportunities.

New Zealand benefited from their territorial advantage with a try to Geoffrey Cridge who received the ball off the side of a ruck to dive over the line for New Zealand’s fifth try of the match.

The successful conversion from Mitchell Hunt brought the score to 14-31 in favour of New Zealand.

A final try to Dillon Hunt sealed Samoa’s fate with the final score 14-36.

Match 2, Round 2: Australia 47 Japan 31

The Australian U20’s have won their second match of the Oceania Rugby Junior Championship, despite a scare by a strong Japanese side.

The lead changed eight times as both sides wrestled for supremacy, but ultimately Australia was able to hold out for the win.

Australian Head Coach Adrian Thompson was disappointed with the performance.

“I am relieved we had the patience to eventually win the match.”
“However there were many elements of our performance that were lacklustre that we must rectify.”
“We’ll put that win behind us and get back into training.”
“Full credit to Japan who really wanted the win today.”

The Australian side were slow out of the blocks against the Japanese despite registering the first points of the match through a successful penalty from James Dalgleish.

The Japanese broke the Australian defensive line to place themselves in the Australian defensive zone. The Japanese forwards showed patience as they ground away the Australian defence to eventually crash over for the first try of the match.

The successful conversion by fullback Ryuji Noguchi brought the score to 3-7 in favour of the visitors.

Australia continued to probe at the defence and a line break from flyhalf James Dalgleish created the opportunity for Australia to score their first try through lock Lukhan Lealaiauloto-Tui, giving the Australia the lead 10-7 following Dalgleish’s successful conversion.

Japan again infringed at the breakdown within kicking range which Dalgleish gratefully accepted taking the score to 13-7.

The match seesawed again as the rapid Japanese backs broke the Australian defensive lines allowing Kosuke Urabe to finish a great try for Japan.

The successfully conversion gave Japan the lead taking the score 13-14.

A great run from Tyson Davis through the middle of the Japanese gave an attacking opportunity to Australia as Aaron Pleash ran onto the ball to off load to barnstorming Jack Redden who scored beneath the posts.

It was relief for Australia at halftime to retain the lead 20-14.

The match seesawed in the second half with both teams scoring multiple tries, however, 
eventually Australia was rewarded with Lukhan Lealaiauloto- Tui powering over for his second try of the match.

Flyhalf Andrew Deegan converted the try to take the score to 37-31 in favour of Australia.

With minutes remaining in the match Australia camped in Japan’s half with a try to Alex Newsome finally securing the win for Australia 44-31.

A penalty in the last minute to Andrew Deegan added some space in the scores to take the match to 47-31.

Last updated: Tuesday June 9, 2015 2:51PM