Gilmore laments errors in opening Junior Wallabies loss

World Rugby U20s Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Junior Wallabies coach Jason Gilmore lamented basic errors that cost his side a chance to beat Wales in their World Rugby U20s Championship opener.

The Aussies lost 26-21 to the Welsh in their first game of the championship, and were left to rue numerous handling errors that snuffed out chances to score.

“Ball security was poor. We spoke about it at half-time, that every time we got to the top 50, we'd turn possession over or we'd get a point,” he said.

“So, it was pretty simple, just hold onto the footy and we didn't do that well enough and same again in the second half.”

Though they fought back from 12 points down to that five-point gap with three minutes to go, Gilmore said they couldn'

“We had a bit of a crack in the second half, but you just can't give a team like Wales a lead and ill-discipline with penalties,” he said.

“I think it finished two tries a piece but they were smart with their penalties and a really good goal kicker that finished it off.”

The Aussies’ main area of dominance in the night came through their scrum, one of the few bright sides for Glmore on a tough night.

“The scrum's been really good,” he said.

“We had a good effort against New Zealand back home with our scrum.

“The boys work really hard on the set piece with their scrum, so that was probably the only positive out of tonight.”

It was a disappointing morning for the Junior Wallabies. Photo: AFPLoosehead prop Harry Hoopert said it was a boon for the forwards to get on top in the scrum.

“We've been working hard on our scrum for the last three or four camps we've been at and obviously tonight it showed that it's been working, so we're going to look to bring that into our game as a strength and that's what we've done and it's worked out very well for us,” he said.

“I think Wales are well known for having a good scrum and for tonight to come out as we have and put on a show shows how far we've come and it's obviously one of our strengths and we're going to look to use it.”

The Junior Wallabies have less than four days before their second pool match, against Japan, and Gilmore said they had to rein in their focus.

“Now we've just got to focus,” he said.

“We know our fate, now we've just got to win the next two games against Japan and New Zealand, looking at Japan they're going to be a tricky opponent.

“They play very fast and they've got some big boys in their side.”

Australia takes on Japan on Sunday June 3, kicking off at 2pm local, 10pm AEST, broadcast on FOX SPORTS at 8am Monday AEST.