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The Australian Under 20s have finished seventh at the IRB Junior World Championship in France following a 28-17 win over Ireland in their final match of the tournament.
Playing at Stade Henri Desgrange in La Roche-sur-Yon, France, overnight, Australian Under 20s coach Adrian Thompson was pleased to see the tournament end with a win.
"I’m happy with the result today,” Thompson said.
“We would have liked to do better in the tournament, but we’ve shown some good signs of improvement.
“It’s a great experience and very different from playing in Australia. It's good to come overseas and play different teams. It’s a good learning experience for them.”
Australian Under 20s captain Curtis Browning was proud of his team’s ability to bounce back from a loss.
"It's a great experience for all the boys,” Browning said.
“To finish on a win is a good note to go home on. It’s always good to have a win, and it’s no different today."
The Australian Under 20s had a tough tournament, with a similar trajectory to last year. They won just one of their three pool games, falling 19-15 to Ireland and 14-10 to New Zealand, before defeating Fiji 46-12.
They then lost 22-15 to Argentina in their fifth-place semi-final, while Ireland fell 9-8 to France in their semi-final.
The Australians controlled the match against the Irish from the outset and took a 20-3 lead into the half-time break following tries to Harry Parker and Michael Wells, along with a penalty goal each to Jake McIntyre and Luke Burton. Burton added both conversions.
The Irish struck first in the second half, with a try and penalty goal closing the gap to 20-11. The teams then traded penalty goals, with another to Australia’s Burton, to take the score to 23-14 with 20 minutes to go.
Ireland were kept to just one penalty goal for the remainder of the match, while Alex Northam added the final try for Australia to take the score to 28-17.
Australia 28 – Ireland 17
Australia (Harry Parker, Michael Wells, Alex Northam tries; Luke Burton 2 conversions, 2 penalties; Jake McIntyre penalty)
Australian Under 20s v Ireland
Click to view Australian Under-20 bios online
Curtis Browning (c)
University of Queensland
University RC WA
GPS Old Boys
Australian Under-20 IRB Junior World Championship results
6 June, 2:45am (AEST)
V Ireland (L 19-15)
Stade de la Rabine in Vannes
10 June, 4:45am (AEST)
V New Zealand (L 14-10)
14 June, 4:45am (AEST)
V Fiji (W 46-12)
19 June, 3:00am (AEST)
V Argentina (L 22-15)
Stade Henri Desgrange in La Roche-sur-Yon
23 June, 11:00pm (AEST)
V Ireland (W 28-17)