Junior Wallabies focusing on the finer things

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Junior Wallabies are focused on the details when it comes to their Oceania U20s title decider against New Zealand, forwards coach Ruaidhri Murphy says.

The Aussies have had big wins over Fiji and Tonga in their opening Oceania U20s matches, but New Zealand will be a whole other prospect, a team that can punish opponents from anywhere.

Australia plays New Zealand in the pool stages at the U20s World Championship, making Saturday’s clash an even more crucial opportunity to see how they stack up in the world order.

Harry Hockings is back for a second year in U20s. Photo: Getty Images“Fiji, Tonga ripped in hard but technically (they’re) maybe not as good as what we're going to play this Saturday,” he said.

“That's going to put us in good stead to see where we're at, then leading into France (at the World U20s Championship) and later in the program.”

Murphy said the biggest challenge for the team will be ensuring their excitement is at a safe level.

“I reckon when you see this fixture, you don't need to motivate the boys,” he said.

“Often it's the other way, you've got to try and calm them, keep them in the process, make sure they're across all the detail and come matchday that natural energy just comes out in itself. So, at the moment, we're very excited.

“You see the fixture and the way it's been billed, it's going to be a fantastic evening game for us.

“(It’s about) trying to keep the players focused or making sure our core principles are in check, that we're producing good stuff on our own ball and then we'll see, we'll be able to assess then where we're at.”

Lock Harry Hockings, who was released from the Reds squad to be part of the Junior Wallabies, said the side was looking forward to the competition finale.

“It's always a big game, playing New Zealand, it's always a big game and I guess you could consider it that way,” he said.

“Our ultimate goal is to win the game.

“Obviously, they are a tough side, they're physical and clinical in everything they do but we just have to beat them in all aspects of the game.”

The Junior Wallabies take on New Zealand on Saturday night, kicking off at 7pm AEST, LIVE on RUGBY.com.au.