Game management, drop ball costly: Cron

World Rugby U20s Championship
by Sam Phillips

Simon Cron has pointed to poor game management and a hefty handling error count as major factors in his team's 24-17 loss to Scotland.

It was the cavalier approach to exiting the Australian 22 in the final 10 minutes which proved costly and Cron did not beat around the bush when asked about the decision making by halves Harrison Goddard and Hamish Stewart.

The Australians showed terrific heart to put together two goal line stands as the Scots threw the kitchen sink at the defensive line but rather than kicking for territory, the decision to try and run the ball the length of the field backfired on three consecutive occasions.

The third and final time proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back, as Charlie Shiel sliced past Goddard to score the match winner.Scotland made the Aussie U20s do plenty of tackling in the second half. Photo: World Rugby/Levan Verdzeuli"Their field position was outstanding, they played extremely well in terms of kicking to corners and controlling that position - they did really well," Cron said of the Scotland performance.

"Our game management and basic execution from some of our key guys (let us down).

"The boys tackled their hearts out around the breakdown.

"We counter rucked a lot, turned a lot of ball over but it's what we did with that ball when we got it.

"We had passes thrown behind others, we had one or two guys drop the ball three or four times each and that alleviated the pressure, unfortunately."Harrison Goddard was among Australia's best against Scotland. Photo: World Rugby/Levan VerdzeuliGoddard had a couple of stray passes but was otherwise one of Australia's best, nabbing a double and scoring all of Australia's 17 points.

"Godds is a great player," Cron said.

"He's one guy who has played a bit more rugby and he shows that - he's got a good head on his shoulders and knows what to do.

"He clears the ball quickly and I think he was one of our best out there today."

The sixth place finish understates the improvement in this Australian U20s side.A sixth place finish is not what Jordan Uelese and the Australians were after. Photo: World Rugby/Levan VerdzeuliThey fell one point short of beating an England outfit that are playing in the final and in truth, were the better side on that day.

It was their game management which cost them that game as well and Cron hopes this will be a building block for better results in the coming years.

"Hopefully they're all better rugby players for it," Cron said.

"We've got a number of guys in the program that have not really played a lot of rugby this year.

"This is a big step for them and so is playing five games in that period of time.


"As a coaching staff we are constantly working with them on their skill development and their rugby brains.

"At 18, 19, 20, that has to be an area where we keep building with these kids.

"As you could probably tell in the last 10 minutes, our decision making process put a lot more pressure on us than we should have and as a result, Scotland get over the line in the last minute."

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