Junior Wallabies put 90 past Tonga

by Sam Phillips

The Junior Wallabies have set up a tantalising showdown with New Zealand U20s, running in 15 tries against a hapless Tongan side en route to a 91-7 win.

The Australians were never troubled from the outset, collating points at more than a point per minute.

Matt McTaggart scored a superb first half hat trick - one of nine first term tries - as captain Tate McDermott and flyhalf Will Harrison ran rings around a Tongan side which provided very little resistance.Harry Hoopert starred up front for the Junior Wallabies. Photo: SportographyUp front, Harry Hoopert turned a Super Rugby debut into a dominant performance with both ball in hand and at scrum time, Trevor Hosea proved near unstoppable every time touched the ball and No. 8 Josh Kemeny was a workhorse around the park.

The pack, on the whole, ran over the top of Tonga and allowed both McDermott and Harrison to flourish, unleashing outside backs that proved far too elusive for a Tongan unit that struggled to keep up.

Tonga did cross for one well worked first half try in their only foray into the Australian 22 but a 48-7 half time scoreline was indicative of the gap between these two sides.Will Harrison was impressive in his first start of the tournament. Photo: SportographyIt was more of the same in the second term, as the Aussies ran in six more tries, though they did not surpass the 97 point deficit New Zealand accrued against the Tongans in their tournament opener.

Reds young gun Harry Hockings entered the fray in the second term, steering the Australian lineout with aplomb.

It was Hockings, along with centres Tony Hunt and Iisiah Latu who did the most damage in the second term, as the Australians clicked into cruise control.

The win sets up a blockbuster clash with New Zealand on Saturday night, who played with 14 men for 60 minutes but still proved far too good for Fiji in claiming a 55-15 win.

The red card to Billy Proctor was a contentious one, sent for an early shower by referee Damon Murphy as a Fijian player landed awkwardly after jumping above his head.

Proctor seemed to try and evade the tackle but the officials did not agree, though whether he will be ruled out of the clash with Australia remains to be seen.


Junior Wallabies 91

Tries: Hoopert, Hosea 2, McTaggart 4, Latu, Sergeant, Kemeny, Harrison, Faessler, Ramm, Maafu, Lucas

Cons: Harrison 6, Lucas 2


Tonga 7

Tries: McQuinlan

Cons: Folau


New Zealand 55

Fiji 15