Australian Schoolboys have bounced back from their defeat at the hands of England, to beat close-rivals and neighbours New Zealand in a close encounter at Knox Grammar School in Sydney today.
AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLBOYS 26 (Curtis Browning, Jim Stewart, Jake McIntyre tries; Jack Debreczeni 2 penalties; Jack McIntyre penalty, conversion)
NEW ZEALAND SECONDARY SCHOOLS 19 (Ngani Laumape try; Simon Hickey 4 penalties, conversion)
It seemed appropriate that the World Cup which is currently being staged to decide who stands supreme in World Rugby is named after the schoolboy William Webb Ellis.
Conditions could not have been better for rugby. Overcast skies, no wind advantage and together with a superb ground set the scene for this Trans Tasman contest.
In front of 2000 supporters Australia triumphed in what could be described as a game of limited opportunities created through the pressure both teams applied to one another in a most physical encounter.
New Zealand, after Australia had missed early opportunities for points through missed penalties and turnovers, found themselves six points up after 15 minutes through the accurate kicking of Kings College fly half Simon Hickey, one penalty from 50 metres.
New Zealand applied pressure at the breakdown with flanker Joe Edwards and eventual Bronze Boot winner and captain Ardie Savea often securing turnover possession with the solid bricklike build of inside centre Ngani Laumape dominating the mid field with some early powerful straight running. Straight running became rarer with the New Zealand backline as the game progressed. Whilst playing with width they were often found out running across field and were easy targets for the Australian defence.
In the 24th minute Laumope, against the run of play, took an intercept and a straight run to the line gave New Zealand another seven points from the converted tr. New Zealand 13 - Australia 3.
This was to be the only try scored against the Australian team who were now building pressure through their tight five especially at scrum time. They were making it hard for New Zealands’ scrum half and No 8 to secure quality ball. Applying continued pressure as they advanced to New Zealand’s line resulted in Australian lock and captain Curtis Browning diving over for the five pointer. Again another simple kick at goal was missed. New Zealand 13 - Australia 8.
With the score in New Zealand’s favour and with the first half closing Australian lock Michael Wells made a powerful crunching tackle on New Zealand fly half Simon Hickey. A defining moment of the game!
The second half started with the usual hiss and roar and the contact became more physical. The Australian tight five noticeably gained an advantage with powerful scrummaging and the result was a penalty to Australia converted by fly half Jack Debreczeni.
With the score now 13-11, slick service from Australia’s scrum half Waldo Wessels put winger Northam into space and a run down the right touchline and an infield pass to No12 Jim Stewart resulted in a try beside the posts to put Australia in front 13-16.
Again the kick failed.
Australia began to dominate territory and possession following the kick off. The forward struggle continued with several subs being made between the 50th and 60th minutes. Australia appeared to be gaining dominance in the forward battle with No 6 and Bronze Boot winner, Will Miller, outstanding at the breakdown.
New Zealand added another penalty to their tally in the 50th minute leveling the scores.
In the 60th minute New Zealand kicked another penalty to hit the front 19-16.
With the result still in the balance pressure on the New Zealand scrum resulted in a fumble by their scrum half. The enterprising Australian Number 9 building on his tradesman like performance swooped on the loose ball threw a flat pass to replacement stand off Jake MacIntyre who ran 20 metres unopposed and placed the ball beside the sticks. The conversion lifted the score to Australia 23 New Zealand 16.
With 2 minutes remaining New Zealand threw caution to the wind and could have snatched an unlikely draw had passes stuck on two occasions however they were again thwarted by a strong passionate and enthusiastic defence. The final whistle sounded and Australia, in this momentous World Cup year, captured the victory.
New Zealand coach Andrew Douglas felt the lead up game in which New Zealand beat Australia A 53-11 could have gone against them however complimented Australia on the manner in which they played by " shutting down space and controlling the tempo and pace of the match".
Australian coach, Stephen Phillpots commented -"our guys certainly turned up... they played a pressure game and shocked their counterparts with their venom and sting in defence".
NZ RUGBY NEWS BRONZE BOOT WINNER NEW ZEALAND - ARDIE SAVEA
AUSTRALIAN RUGBY NEWS & REVIEW BRONZE BOOT WINNER AUSTRALIA - WILL MILLER
As it happened...
2nd minute:penalty to aus for offside at the ruck 37m out. Missed by number 10
6th minute: penalty to nz just inside aus territory for offside and nails it..3-0 nz in the 7th minute
10th minute: pentalty to nz 35m out but misses.
15th minute; penalty to nz on the 22m and gets it 6-0..(Number 10 for nz is kicking)
19th minute of the back of a nz scrum the aus scrum half nails the nz number 8 and results in a penalty to aus for holding on
20th minute penalty to aus for offside 22m out and fly-half gets it.. 6-3 nz
23rd minute penalty to aus and misses..
25th minute of the resulting 22m drop out full back cam clarke pushes a pass intercepted by number 12 for nz and scores a 50m run away try. Converted by flyhalf to make it 13-3
29th minute off the back of the scrum 5m from nz line and 1 further phase aus hit back with a try to number 4. Conversion unsuccessful 13-8
35th minute half time 13-8
38th minute: penalty to aus 22m out and converted by fly-half 13-11
39th minute; ref goes down with cramp
42nd minute: off the back of a scrum on half way aus flyhalf sends it wide to the left wing and quick ball back to the 13 sends him over the line and aus take the lead for first time 16-13 and conversion missed by fly half
45th minute: penalty to nz 10m from aus line for offside and is successful in penalty kick to flyhalf 16-all
57th minute: penalty to nz for offside 15m from aus line and fly-half converts to go back into the lead 19-16
60th minute: aus pressure off the kick-off results in lost ball on nz 22 and aus score off kick-off thru replacement fly-half who converts his own try 23-19
64th min: aus penalty 15m from nz line for offside. replacement fly-half to take the kick (jersey 23) and kicks it aus 26-19
70th minute penalty to aus they kick it up field and from the lineout boot it into touch and game over! Aus win 26-19