Australia win first match of IRB Junior World Championship

by staff

The Australian Under 20s have defeated Argentina with a four try bonus point win in the opening match of the IRB Junior World Championship in Auckland on Monday by 36-17.

The Australian side continued the success they had built through winning four preparation matches already in 2014, making the win against Argentina the fifth win in a row for the Australian side.

It was also the first time in the last three encounters that Australia had defeated Argentina at an Under 20s level.

Former Australian Schoolboy Andrew Kellaway was the pick of the Australian backs crossing for two tries throughout the match.

Australian Head Coach Adrian Thompson was satisfied his team had started the tournament with such a solid win.

“I am very satisfied with the way we played today and it was a true team performance that enabled us to win.

“Our forwards laid an excellent platform for success by dominating the scrums throughout the match which allowed our backs to have a constant opportunity to attack.

“Our handling errors was cause a concern for me though and this is an area we will focus on before we take on England in our next match.”

Australia started strongly with a dominant scrum, pushing Argentina off the ball in the 3rd minute of the match. Australia completed their early scrum domination with an easy penalty for Jake McIntyre to give Australia a three point lead.

The Australian defence was tested moments later when Argentina attacked the Australian line for several phases, with only desperate defence from the Australian repelling Argentina. A clearing kick from Jake McIntyre relieved the pressure and allowed Australia to clear their half.

Ill-discipline was evident early on in the Argentinian game and allowed Jake McIntyre to extend Australia’s lead by 9-0.

Australia continued to dominate the first half and were rewarded for their territorial advantage with Allan Alaalatoa crossing for the first try of the tournament giving Australia a 16-0 lead.

Argentina struck back with a try of their own off the back of a maul from a lineout through Enrique Pieretto Heiland. The try was converted by Argentine captain Patrico Fernandez to close the gap on Australia with the score at 16-10.

Australia had the opportunity to apply more pressure on the South American side just before half time but was unable to secure possession off a line out leaving the score at 16-10 at the half time interval.

The second half started with Argentina dominating possession and territory, creating great concern for the Australian defence. It was only a try saving tackle from Australian captain, Sean McMahon that prevented Argentina from crossing for an early try.

Australia advanced into the Argentinian defensive zone and from winning an Argentinian scrum was able to get the ball wide to winger, Andrew Kellaway to score Australia’s second try of the match extending Australia’s lead to 21-10.

Australia was able to regain the dominance they showed in the opening stages of the match frustrating the Argentinian defence as Australia dominated in the forwards and backs. The Australian scrum was a solid platform for the backs as Australia continued to be dominant in this area.

Australian winger Brad Lacey crossed for Australia’s fourth try of the match after a break through the Argentinian defence by Lalakai Foketi and Andrew Kellaway taking Australia’s score to 33 points.

A mistake from the kick off cost Australia, as Argentina was able to strike back with an immediate try through Forward, Santaigo Montagner.

It was too little too late for Argentina with Australia finishing strongly winning the match 36-17 following another successful conversion from flyhalf Jake McIntyre.

Australia will take on England on Friday 6 June at 15.35 AEST.