The Junior Wallabies have defeated Italy 44-15 in the Fifth Place Semi Final at the World Rugby U20s Championship overnight in Narbonne.
Australia scored six tries to Italy’s three with the boot of Ryan Lonergan causing more damage on the scoreboard as the young men in gold secured a place in the Fifth Place Final.
Impressively Australia played the majority of the match with 14 men, when Forward Michael Wood was red carded for accidentally making content with the head of an Italian opponent in a ruck in the 20th minute.
The Junior Wallabies stepped up their game having been reduced to 14 men and began their comprehensive take down of their Italian opponents.
Junior Wallabies Captain, Ryan Lonergan said: “It was always going to be a tough game, especially at the set piece, so losing Michael was unfortunate. Credit to the piggies they really stepped it up and allowed us backs to score some tries.
“Our tight five has really been killing it through the whole comp and for them to step it up on such a hot day is a credit to them.
“We knew Italy was going to be tough for the whole 80 but we knew if we stuck to our structure, points will come.
“We’ll review and get ready for Argentina.”
Australia will play Argentina U20s in a Rugby Championship battle on Sunday 17 June at 10.00pm AEST.
The match started in a slow fashion with both sides trading blows, but it was Italy who scored first to take an early lead with two quick tries.
Australia struck back with a Harry Hockings try and penalty to take the score to 8-10 in favour of Italy when the Aussies were reduced to 14 men.
Australia scored a great team try from a lineout with some superb hands from Efi Maafu, Hamish Stewart and Semisi Tupou set up a brilliant try for flyhalf (Stewart), handing the Australians their first lead despite being down a man, 15-10.
Neither side could troubler the scorers for the rest of the first half as they headed to the break.
Italy would be reduced to 14 men with a yellow card when Italian prop Matteo Nocera was sent to the sin bin for a tip tackle on Angus Blyth.
From the ensuring penalty, Semisi Tupou sliced through the defence for a barnstorming Fraser McReight to score and extend Australia’s lead.
Junior Wallabies reserve prop, George Francis injected some energy into the Australian forwards and he was rewarded with a try of his own in the 61st minute to take the score to 29-10.
A penalty kick by Ryan Lonergan off the back of some strong work at the breakdown by McReight ended the Italian resistance as the Junior Wallabies moved to 32-10 in the 65th minute.
Tries to Fraser McReight and Bayley Kuenzle added further damage on the scoreboard, leaving Australia to hit 45 points.
A late Italian try was a consolation as the Junior Wallabies kept their unbeaten run against Italy at the World Rugby U20s Championship with the final score 44-15.
Junior Wallabies 44
Tries: Hockings, Stewart, McReight 2, Francis, Kuenzle
Cons: Lonergan 3, Harrison
Pens: Lonergan 2
Italy U20s 15
Tries: D’Onofrio 3