Not enough words to describe winning feeling

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia U20s flyhalf Mack Mason ran out of words to describe the elation of finally beating New Zealand.

Mason slotted an 82nd minute penalty goal to snatch the one-point win for Australia, its first over New Zealand at that level.

As for the feeling post-match, Mason couldn’t find enough superlatives to describe the happiness of the team.

“It’s excitement really and just joy and everything - every good word,  I can’t really keep going,” he said.

Speaking on the kick itself, Mason said it was an easy decision to go for the points and had a simple routine to ensure he scored it.

“That last couple of minutes we just tried to direct them and staycomposed and when it came to that kick, I just went through my routine and I was lucky enough that it went through,” he said.

“As soon as we got the penalty, I was pretty keen (to go for the points),” he said.

“I think all kickers want to do that, kick the goal for their team.

“It was more excitement than any nerves.”

The winning moment. Photo: SportographyStarting scrumhalf Angus Fowler was watching from the bench as the final minutes ticked down, watching his side set up for a possible field goal before the penalty came..

“A lot of the boys had their hearts in their mouths but we were just trying to keep a cool head,” he said.

“I know the boys were trying to set up in the middle of the field for.some sort of points.

“It was pretty fortunate that they kept on trucking with the pick and go and then New Zealand gave away that penalty.

“If we'd had a couple more phases we could have tried to knock over a field goal but  penalty came first.”

Despite losing a 19-point lead to trail by two points in the final stages, Mason said they always felt they could win.

“We just knew we played good football from the start,” he said.

“We lacked a bit of form for that 10 minutes or so but we always knew if we got back to playing the way we did  at the start, we always could win.”

Aside from being a historic monkey off Australia’s back at U20s level, the win gives the Aussies an invaluable dose of belief heading into the World Cup in June.

The performance from Australia was an improvement across the board, with first-game nerves replaced by composure, cohesion and culminating in the win.

Fowler said it felt like things were clicking for the side, with the outside backs finishing off strong attacking play and the forwards asserting their dominance at scrum time.

“I thought it was good obviously the forwards set the platform today and they worked really hard and gave me some good ball,” he said.

“There’s still things to work on but it was great to have that platform to provide the link between the forwards and the backs and get the service to Mack.

“I think we did touch a few things up being able to see them click is really exciting but definitely things to improve on.

“The boys are on a real high at the moment, it’s just smiles all round."