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By ARU Media Unit
The Australian Under 20s have ensured that will compete in the Fifth Place Playoff Final after defeating Samoa 53-16 in the IRB Junior World Championship on Sunday.
Australian winger, Andrew Kellaway was the pick of the backs scoring four tries throughout the match as Australia scored eight tries in a brilliant display of running Rugby.
With a match in hand, Kellaway has tied the record for the most tries (8) scored in an IRB Junior World Championship.
Australia will play the winner of Wales against France on Friday 20 June at 12.35 AEST for the right to finish fifth in the tournament standings.
Australian Head Coach Adrian Thompson was very impressed with Australia’s efforts.
“It was really great to see such a solid performance from all members of the squad today.
“Our forwards dominated the powerful Samoan pack, which created an excellent platform for our backs to convert scoring opportunities.
“Andrew Kellaway’s four tries was a reflection of the impressive effort he has made throughout the entire tournament, and highlights his ability in attack.”
Australia started the match on the back foot with ACT Brumbies player, Tom Staniforth penalised for not rolling away at the breakdown. Flyhalf for Samoa Johan Fagasua converted the penalty to give Samoa an early three point advantage. It was a short lived though, as his Australian counterpart, Jake McIntyre returned the favour moments later to level the scores.
From then the Australians showed their class as they ran rampant with the ball and put the pressure on the Samoan defence.
Andrew Kellaway crossed for Australia’s first try of the match, scoring in the corner as he stretched out to place the ball over the line, despite the attempts of the covering Samoan defence.
Australia’s second try came moments later, as Brad Lacey crossed over the line to take Australia’s lead to 13-3 as Samoa’s defence struggled to adjust to pace of Australia’s attack.
Australia continued to control possession and territory in the first half as Samoa was unable to escape their own defensive zone.
Andrew Kellaway’s second try came through an excellent steal from a Samoan maul by Tom Staniforth. A slick inside pass from scrumhalf Angus Pulver to Andrew Kellaway meant the flying winger was able to score right underneath the posts.
Samoa with a rare opportunity in the first half then attacked the Australian line well within the Australian 22 for multiple phases. A quick turn over saw Brad Lacey power his way out of the rushing Samoan defence to offload to Andrew Kellaway for him to run away for his third try of the first half.
Australia continued to attack Samoa but were unable to take advantage of their territorial gains with the score left at 29-6 at halftime, with a penalty to Samoan Flyhalf Johan Fagusua, the only means for the Pacific nation to advance their score.
The second half started well for Australia with the men in gold continuing their strong start to match with an early try to centre Jimmy Stewart, after a brilliant weaving run from winger Brad Lacey. Lacey sliced through the Samoan defence, evading several tackles to offload to a perfectly positioned Stewart who bounced his way through a tackle to score and extend Australia’s lead to 36-6.
Australia continued to exert their dominance over Samoa with the men in gold clearly a class above in all facets of the game.
Andrew Kellaway crossed for his fourth try of the match in the 57th minute, extending Australia’s lead to 48-6 and equalling the record for most tries scored in an IRB Junior World Championship match.
Australia’s eighth try came through the pace of the Australian backs once again as Lalakai Foketi crossed to bring Australia’s score to 53-6.
Two late consolation tries to Samoa was their only joy of the match as, Iafeta Luamanu and Sootala Fa'aso'o crossed to bring some respectability to the scoreboard.
The final score was 53-16.
Australia will now play the winner of France against Wales as they look to finish the IRB Junior World Championship in fifth.