Australian U20s out for Scottish retribution

Brenden Hertell
by Brendan Hertel

Still reeling from their 17-13 loss to England, the Australian U20s will now turn their attention to levelling the score with Scotland, who they will face next Monday at AJ Bell Stadium. 

Australia and Scotland are now two-of-four teams competing to finish fifth at the World Rugby U20s Championship, after the third and final round of the pool stages played out on Wednesday.

New Zealand and six nation winners Wales are the other two teams, and the winner of their match and either Australia or Scotland will meet to ultimately determine who finishes fifth.

After losing to Scotland in their first game 15-10, the Australian side are hungry to claim back bragging rights over their northern counterparts.

Head coach Adrian Thompson said: “It’s a good pool in a sense, we didn’t make the semi-finals but we have the chance to play Scotland again. It’s an opportunity to rectify a result we weren’t happy with before facing either Wales or New Zealand.

“Regardless of World Cups and everything else, at the end of the day the squad are here playing for Australia, that is the key thing and the group need to remember that moving forward, which I’m sure they will.”

Although missing out on the finals, Thompson couldn’t fault his sides effort in their loss to England.

“It was a shattering result for the players. I thought the effort they put in was excellent, we couldn’t ask for anymore, we wanted to them to represent their country well and play hard which they did.

“Unfortunately our execution let us down, especially our set-piece at crucial times. You can’t do that against tournament favourites.”

With a five-day turn around ahead of their second Scottish assignment, the Australian’s will look to recover before refocusing their attention on the next stage of the tournament, where the team still have a task to complete according to captain James Tuttle.

“We have a job too to do, the next two games are important to us. We can either finish fifth or fall down the ladder,” he said.

“For us it’s about regrouping, getting recovery right and doing everything we can to get that first win over Scotland. It’s going to be a massive game against them.”

Australia will face Scotland at AJ Bell Stadium next Monday, June 20, kick-off at 7:45pm. The match will be televised in Australia LIVE on Fox Sports 2, Channel 502, from 4:45am on Tuesday morning.