The Australian U20s have defeated Italy 31-15 at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Parma, Italy on Sunday morning.
The four try bonus point win ensures Australia remains in touch with its top four ambitions with its next match coming against South Africa on Thursday 11 June at 4.30am AEST.
Australian Head Coach Adrian Thompson:
“Its pleasing that we were able to finish the first half as strongly as we did allowing us to claim the bonus point win.
“The forwards did an excellent job in tough conditions which allowed us to give the backs momentum moving forwards.
“We again had a slow start to the match that could have proved costly and this is part of a few areas we will need to improve on before we face South Africa.
Australian Captain Andrew Kellaway praised the Italians on their performance:
“Italy turned up as we knew they would. Full credit to them they took us right to the end.
“We have quite a few areas to improve on before South Africa. We’ll get back to the drawing board tomorrow and see how we go.”
The first points in the match went to Italy with Italian flyhalf, Mateo Minozzi easily piloting a conversion after the Italian forward pack earned a penalty.
Australia did not take advantage of its early opportunities with small handling errors costing Australia the opportunity to apply more pressure on the home nation.
The first try of the game came against the run of play for Italy as Lorenzo Masato scored an intercept try against Australia. A floated pass in between two players went straight in the outstretched arms of the Italian winger who took no chances by speeding to the corner taking the score to 0-8 in favour of Italy.
Australia slowly began to work into the match with interplay between the forwards and backs allowing the men in gold to advance up the field. A penalty came to Australia off the back of illegal play by Italy at the breakdown, which allowed flyhalf Andrew Deegan to give Australia its first points to take the score to 3-8.
With momentum swinging towards Australia the Australian backs started to shred their way through their Italian counterparts thanks to Jonah Placid and Andrew Kellaway.
Australia’s first try came off the hard work of the forwards however as Brad Wilkin evaded Italian clutches off the back of the maul. Deegan’s conversion gave the young Aussies the lead for the first time in the match 10-8.
Moments later James Tuttle capitalised on the disorganised Italian defence to score underneath the posts. The scrumhalf with no defenders in front of him dummied and ran straight for the line to swan dive underneath the posts.
Australia’s speedy prop, Cameron Orr put the icing on the cake of Australia’s first half, finding himself in open space before powering through two Italian tackles to score Australia’s third try.
Andrew Deegan’s conversion took the score to 24-8 where the score would remain at halftime.
The first 20 minutes of the second half saw both sides battle to maintain possession with the score line not budging.
Australia was patient as they looked for opportunities to expose the Italian defence and a kick behind the line by fullback Jonah Placid allowed Australia to put itself in an attacking position.
The forwards powered through their Italian counterparts and a well-timed Adam Korczyk dived over to score Australia’s fourth try. Andrew Deegan continued his perfect run with the boot to take the score to 31-8.
Italy never stopped attempting to attack Australia and eventually were able to cross for a try in the second half as their forwards rolled through Australia to score in the corner through Luhandre Luus taking the score to 31-15.
Australia held off a late charge by Italy to ensure the final score remained 31-15.