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By ARU Media Unit
The Australian Under 20s have got their 2014 campaign off to a winning start with a convincing 34-5 victory over the Samoa Under 20s at Bond University on the Gold Coast on Wednesday.
The impressive five tries to one defeat was the perfect start for a two-game series against Samoa, with their second contest to be played on Saturday at Somerset College (kickoff 1:00pm).
There were a number of strong individual performances which bodes well with coach Adrian Thompson to finalise his squad for the IRB Junior World Championships to be finalised following the series against Samoa.
New South Wales winger Sasa Tofilau was instrumental for the Australia, scoring two tries, while centre Lalakai Foketi and winger Brad Lacey also grabbed five-pointers during an impressive second half.
Western Australian centre and vice-captain Luke Burton added a further nine points through three conversions and one penalty.
“I was very impressed with our efforts at the back end of the match and our ability to finish off a tough game,” Thompson said.
“There was obviously a few things from the first half that we will continue to look at as some errors did prevent us from continuing to attack Samoa.
“I was impressed with the way we reacted to a bad first half, and it showed the spirit of the squad to come back and achieve a win today.
“It was the ideal start to our 2014 campaign and I look forward to continuing to grow this squad when we play Samoa again on Saturday.”
In an intense first half, Australia dominated territory and had the majority of possession, however key errors cost Australia the ability to maintain momentum and turn their advantage into points.
It was a tough opening half and Australia only went into the break ahead 5-3.
It was a different story in the second half as Australia was able to limit their errors and exercise dominance in territory and possession, adding another 31 points to their tally.