The Australian Under 20s opened their 2013 IRB Junior World Championship campaign with an agonisingly close 19-15 loss to Ireland in France overnight.
Playing at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes in North-Western France, the Australian Under 20s outscored their opponents to tries to one, but were undone by poor discipline and the laser-like boot of Irish outside centre Tom Daly.
The Australians trailed 10-8 at the break, following a try to Tom Staniforth and penalty goal to Ulupano Seuteni, with Ireland’s points coming from a converted try and a penalty goal.
Australia added another five-pointer in the second half, courtesy of the blistering pace of Alex Northam, while Luke Burton added the conversion. A further three penalty goals to Ireland in the second half made all the difference.
Australian Under-20 coach Adrian Thompson was disappointed with the result, but said the team knew how to improve before their next match.
“I couldn’t fault the effort of the players,” Thompson said.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the result and we need to learn to keep our discipline in check, but we’ve already turned our focus to our match against New Zealand.”
The Australian Under 20s face New Zealand on Monday 10 June at 4:45am (AEST).
The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1HD, with coverage starting at 4:30am.
All of Australia’s pool games are also available to stream live at www.irb.com.
Australia 15 – Ireland 19
Australia tries – Tom Staniforth, Alex Northam.
Conversions – Luke Burton.
Penalty goal – Ulupano Seuteni.
Australian Under 20s v Ireland
Click to view Australian Under-20 bios online
1 Silatolu Latu NSW
2 Maile Ngauamo QLD
3 Oliver Hoskins WA
4 Senio Toleafoa NSW
5 Tom Staniforth ACT
6 Michael Wells NSW
7 Jack Dempsey NSW
8 Curtis Browning (c) QLD
9 Ben Meehan QLD
10 Jake McIntyre NSW
11 Alex Northam NSW
12 Ulupano Seuteni QLD
13 Lalakai Foketi NSW
14 Harry Parker QLD
15 Jonah Placid QLD
16 Andrew Ready QLD
17 Pettowa Paraka QLD
18 Allan Alaalatoa NSW
19 Ofiu Manukeu-Archibald NSW
20 Patrick Sio NSW
21 Waldo Wessels NSW
22 Luke Burton WA
23 Henry Taefu QLD
Australian Under-20 IRB Junior World Championship draw
VENUE Stade de la Rabine in Vannes
6 June, 2:45am (AEST) V Ireland
10 June, 4:45am (AEST) V New Zealand
14 June, 4:45am (AEST) V Fiji