The Junior Wallabies have defeated Japan 54-19 overnight in the second pool game of the World Rugby U20s Championship at Stade de la Mediterranee, Bézier.
Australia scored eight tries in the high scoring affair as the Junior Wallabies moved into second in Pool A on six points with New Zealand leading the pool on 10 points. Wales sits in third after losing to New Zealand on four points.
Australia face New Zealand in a must win clash on Friday morning Australian time to put themselves in the hunt of a top four Semi Finals berth.
Junior Wallabies Head Coach, Jason Gilmore said: “The boys fought really hard in that game. We had a bit of slowness in the middle of the first half but really pleasing about how we finished the game.
“The guys are building confidence in what they’re doing. When you work hard you can get points quickly like we did in the back end of that game.
“I thought our whole team did really well. I thought our halves steered the team around nicely and our forwards worked hard throughout the game.
“We need to improve our patches of inconsistencies. We played a bit too much in our own half. We know when we exit we have the attack to put points on.”
Australia shot out to an early lead with tries to Semisi Tupou and Mack Hansen giving the Junior Wallabies a 14-0 advantage.
Japan countered with two quick tries of their own to lower the gap to two points at 14-12.
Australia rallied in the final stages of the first half with tries to forwards’ Michael Wood and Efi Maa’afu moving the scoreboard to 28-12 at the break.
Australia continued to build pressure in the second half with tries to Matt McTaggart and Ryan Lonergan creating a healthy gap.
Lonergan continued his good form, scoring a second try as the Junior Wallabies ran away with the game, crossing over for the half century at 54 points.
A late try to Japan, was a consolation but the young men in gold had done enough to secure the 54-19 victory.
Australia play New Zealand at 5am AEST on Friday 8 June, with the match to be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.
2018 World Rugby U20s Championship Pool A Fixtures*:
Friday 8 June
Australia v New Zealand, 5.00am AEST, Stade Aime-Giral, Perpignan
*Date and time have been named as AEST