The BMW Australia U20s have continued their unbeaten run in the World Rugby U20s Championship with a tough 33-26 win against Oceania rivals, Samoa U20s on Sunday night.
Australia scored four tries to ensure the bonus point win, which gives the young men in gold nine points in the battle of Pool A against England, Wales and Samoa.
Australia will face England in the final match of Pool A on Friday 9 June at 2.30am AEST, with the match to be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.
BMW Australia U20s Head Coach, Simon Cron said: “I think we played our game plan for a small period of time in the match. Samoa were extremely good, they really wanted that game and they fought to the bitter end.
“For us as a team, part of our evolution is to become more process driven, we need to respect our processes and the team knows that.
“These guys will now become more intelligent in regard to their Rugby brains out of today’s clash.
“We will be better for the hit-out Samoa gave us, England will be a tough challenge but the boys are up for it.”
The opening ten minutes of the match saw Samoa take Australia on, not letting the men in gold hold onto the ball as they fought to establish an early advantage. The defence of Australia was resolute and turned back Samoa to create their own attacking opportunities. Henry Hutchison was the beneficiary off the back of some individual brilliance of Liam McNamara to give the Aussies a 5-0 lead.
Australia was able to extend their lead through the boot of Harry Nucifora in front of the posts when Samoa infringed at the break down to take an 8-0 lead.
Samoa continued to ask questions of Australia in defence and the consistent pressure that the Pacific Islanders built eventually was too much with Tanielu Tele’a crashing over in the corner to take the score to 8-7.
A lifting tackle by Australian captain, Hamish Stewart was deemed to be yellow card worthy by the referee which reduced Australia to 14 men and allowed Samoa to take the lead for the first time in the match with a penalty (8-10).
The second half saw Samoa shoot out of the blocks as they took advantage of their extra man with a try to Pohla in the corner extending Samoa’s lead to 8-15.
Australia struck back through Dylan Riley who changed his line perfectly to slice inside the Samoan cover defence to score underneath the posts and bring scores level. The Aussie U20s continued to build pressure in the match with a dominant Australian scrum allowing replacement scrumhalf, Harrison Goddard to kick behind the defence for Semisi Tupou to regather and score.
Australia began to advance their lead as the backs combined well, with Liam McNamara dotting the ball down for Australia’s fourth try off a brilliant inside ball from fellow Aussie 7s flier, Henry Hutchison.
Samoa refused to go without a fight and a try to Alexander Pohla, narrowed the gap as the Samoans worked hard to challenge the men in gold.
Both sides traded penalties to advance the score to 30-23 but a penalty by Samoa brought the score within four points with just seconds remaining in the match.
Australia fought hard to maintain possession and a penalty for a shoulder charge on the men in gold allowed Harrison Goddard to slot a late penalty and secure a 33-26 victory for Australia U20s.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
11 mins: Henry Hutchison try AUS 5-0 SAM
15 mins: Harry Nucifora pen, AUS 8-0 SAM
18 mins: Tanielu Tele’a, Paisami con AUS 8-7 SAM
35 mins: Hunter Paisami pen AUS 8-10 SAM
42 mins: Alexander Pohla try AUS 8-15 SAM
47 mins: Dylan Riley try, Harry Nucifora con AUS 15-15 SAM
54 mins: Semisi Tupou try AUS 20-15 SAM
59 mins: Liam McNamara try, Harrison Goddard con AUS 27-15 SAM
65 mins: Alexander Pohla try AUS 27-20 SAM
70 mins: Harrison Goddard pen AUS 30-20 SAM
72 mins: Ricky Ene pen AUS 30-23 SAM
76 mins: Rickey Ene pen AUS 30-26 SAM
80 mins: Harrison Goddard pen AUS 33-26 SAM
Australia 33 (Henry Hutchison, Dylan Riley, Semisi Tupou, Liam McNamara tries; Harry Nucifora, Harrison Goddard cons; Harry Nucifora, Harrison Goddard 2 pens) defeated Samoa 26 (Tanielu Tele’a, Alexander Pohla 2 tries; Hunter Paisami cons; Hunter Paisami, Ricky Ene 2 pens)