Set it straight says U20s flyhalf

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by Chris Ford

Australia U20s flyhalf Mack Mason is determined to “set it straight’ in Saturday’s clash against the Junior All Blacks on the Gold Coast.

Mason struggled to get front foot ball in the 20-point defeat at the hands of the Kiwis, as the Australia U20s battled to maintain ascendency.

“We don’t want to go two-zip to the Kiwis, we have to get it one-all and set it straight.” Mason said at the team’s recovery session.

“I think we can do that, we have a good team and enough belief in the team as well.”

It was a steep learning curve for much of Australia’s backline as the squad continues to gel with the Junior World Cup just a month away.

The short turnaround won’t help either, Adrian Thompson’s side will have just one and a half training days before game two on Saturday afternoon.

“I feel like the effort was there but we were just lacking some skills, like a simple catch and pass,” centre Jordan Jackson-Hope said.

“The Kiwis just capitalised on our errors throughout the game.”

“Everyone is feeling that pressure to perform as there’s a fair bit of depth in this side.

“Everyone’s position is under scrutiny and it could go to anyone so there’s a few boys feeling that for sure. It’s just about making the most of your opportunities,” he said.

For Jackson-Hope it was his first time representing Australia at Under 20s level, an occasion that will live long in the memory.Jordan Jackson-Hope hits up the New Zealand line. Photos: Getty Images.

“I was saying to one of the boys earlier that when the anthem was going on, I was welling up and a lot of pride overcame me,” he said.

“I was trying to hold back the tears and I didn’t think I’d get like like that, it was pretty emotional and I was very proud.”

Australia have a chance to level the series against the Kiwis on Saturday at 4pm, with the match live streamed on thanks to BAR TV.