NSW wins national under 20s championship for second consecutive year

by Staff Writer

The NSW Under 20s side are the National Under 20s champions after defeating the Queensland Under 20s in the final match of the tournament on Wednesday, 31-9.

The win means that NSW have successfully defended their championship win from 2014.

The National Under 20s is a part of the ARU’s Pathway to Gold program to create the next generation of Qantas Wallabies, Super Rugby players and Sevens stars.

The ARU Australian Under 20s selectors will select an extended Australian squad in the coming days.

Australian Under 20s Head Coach Adrian Thompson congratulated NSW on their victory.

“I like to extend my congratulations to NSW for the winning the National Under 20s Championship. The match was played at an incredibly high intensity and was a great spectacle of Rugby.

“The standard of play from this year’s National Championships has been incredibly high and an improvement on last year.

“I would like to congratulate and thank all players, coaches and officials involved in the successful running of this tournament.

“The players have created many selection headaches in order to pick the extended Australian Under 20s Squad, however this is a welcome problem as we look to build a strong side for the FORU Under 20s Championship in preparation for the World Rugby Junior World Championship in June.”

The Australian Under 20s side will compete in two tournaments this year; The Federation Oceania Rugby Unions Under 20s Championship commencing Friday 1 May before the team travels to the World Rugby Junior World Championship in June.

NSW Under 20s 31 defeated Queensland Under 20s 9

As was to be anticipated in the interstate derby both sides brought a high level of intensity in the opening stages of the match with Queensland gaining an early territorial advantage.

Despite a daring run by winger Conrad Quick, Queensland were unable to cross the NSW line after several minutes in NSW’s defensive zone.

NSW escaped their own half and scored the first try of the match through Nick Kellaway taking the score to 7-0.

Queensland replied through the boot of flyhalf James Dalgleish after NSW were penalised for not rolling away to take the score to 7-3.

NSW replied through a try to winder Harry Jones who was put in space out wide to score NSW’s second try.

Queensland kept in touch through the boot of Dalgleish who successfully piloted his second penalty to bring the scores closer to 12-6.

The NSW forwards worked hard to advance closer to the NSW line with Jack McCalman eventually able to cross the line for a try taking the score to 19-6.

Queensland reduced the margin to ten points with the third successful penalty from Dalgleish, taking the score to 19-9.

A break in the Queensland line created by Harry Jones allowed NSW fullback Andrew Kellaway to show his class with an amazing individual effort to kick and regather the ball to score next to the posts and take the score to 26-19.

A final try to NSW completed the victory for NSW bringing the score to 31-9.

Australian Under 20s Barbarians 34 v Fiji Under 20s 28

Fiji scored the first points of the match as the fast Fijian outside backs outpaced the Barbarian cover defence to score in the corner through Kaveni Debanaise. The successful conversion took the score to 0-7.

The Australian Barbarians retaliated almost immediately through two quick tries to Jordon Fulivai and Joel Brown to take the score to 12-7.

The momentum swung again to Fiji who were able to score in the corner after the Fiji forwards were able to break through the Barbarian defence after several phases Filpo Daungunu crossed for the try.

Two successful penalties through Seremaia Turagabeci for Fiji brought the score to 12-23 in favour of the Fijians where the score would remain at half time.

A clearly determined Australian Barbarians outfit emerged in the second half with three unanswered tries to take the score to the score to 29-23.

The Australian Barbarians domination at the set piece created opportunities for the side as their scrum outclassed the tiring Fijian forwards.

A try piece in the dying stages of the match brought the scores to 34-28 in favour of the home side and with Fiji attacking late in the match the Barbarians defence was tested.

Ultimately though the combined Australian side was able to hold out for a 34-28 victory and finish their tournament on a high.

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