A dominant second half from the Australian U20s against Scotland has seen Australia claim a 31-21 victory in the Fifth v eighth playoff at the World Rugby U20 Championship.
Two tries to Australia’s Jonah Placid helped the Australian side to the win with the young Aussies to play the winner of Ireland and Wales in the battle to finish 5th in 2015.
Australian U20s Head Coach Adrian Thompson:
“I was impressed with our performance in the second half with the forwards providing a good platform for the backs to go forward.
“We had to work hard against a committed Scottish defence for all of our points and they certainly asked plenty of questions of us.
“Our aim now is to finish the tournament in fifth place and we will start our recovery and preparation for our final match.”
Australia’s next match will be played on Sunday 21 June at 12.30am AEST.
The match started with Australia controlling possession and territory in the opening stanzas but a lack of ball control prevented the men in gold from crossing the line early.
It was in fact Scotland, despite having minimal possession of the ball who crossed the line first when Alec Coombes ran a great inside line to slice through the Australian defence. The successful conversion took the score to 0-7.
With a lack of sting in defence, Scotland continued to apply pressure to Australia U20s as they gained more possession and territory.
With the backs looking to create space, Australia’s Jonah Placid put the ball up high, to steal it from the outstretched arms of his opposite number, allowing the fullback to score Australia’s first try in the corner.
Flyhalf Andrew Deegan’s kick shaved to the left, leaving the score at 5-7 in favour of Scotland.
As both sides looked to win the battle in the forwards Australian Prop Matt Sandall showed his leadership ability with a huge defensive work rate, making countless tackles and making his presence known at the breakdown.
Australia was placed under significant pressure in the dying stages of the first half as Scotland asked serious defensive questions.
Despite earning a scrum penalty, Scotland was unable to reap the benefits of their territory and possession leaving the score at 5-7 at halftime.
The second half saw a fired up Australian outfit turn the tables on Scotland from the kick off with a dominant scrum providing the platform.
Back to back tries to Lukan Lealaialoto-tui and Connal McInerney came from the Australian forwards using the pick and drive to great success on the Scottish line.
A conversion from Andrew Deegan brought the score to 17-7 in favour of the men in gold.
With Scotland reduced to 14 men after a high tackle from flyhalf Rory Hutchinson, Australia’s fullback, Jonah Placid was able to cross for his second try of the match as he sliced through Scotland’s defence to score.
Deegan converted the try to take the score to 24-7.
Matt Sandall was rewarded for his solid performance with a try in the 63rd minute as Sandall powered through several Scottish tackles to score underneath the posts.
The successful conversion brought the score to 31-7.
Two late consolation tries to Scotland through Richard Galloway was the only defensive blight for Australia in what was a dominant second half taking the score to 31-21.
Australia was able to hold out Scotland’s late surge to leave the final score at 31-21. Australia will now face the winner of Ireland v Wales in the battle to finish in fifth.