May 31 • General News, Junior Rugby, World Rugby Junior Championship • 1318 Views • Comments Off on AUSTRALIA FALL IN OPENING CLASH OF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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The Junior Wallabies have fallen 21-26 to Wales U20s in their opening match of the World Rugby U20s Championship in Bézier, France on Thursday morning.

Both sides scored two tries a piece but it was the boot of Welsh kicker, Cai Evans that proved the difference from penalties.

Australia will be left to rue not being able to close out the game with the Junior Wallabies dominating possession in the second half.

Junior Wallabies Captain Ryan Lonergan said: “We lost the game. We really didn’t play the way we should of. We played in the right areas of the field, but we couldn’t execute any plays or build any pressure. Full credit to Wales they are a quality outfit.

“We can take (positives) that we were still in the match in the last play, even though we didn’t play the way we wanted to.

“We made a lot of errors that we shouldn’t be making so I guess that’s a positive, but it really is back to the drawing board. We need to fix those things because it’s not good enough.”

Australia started the match well, with a fast moving Junior Wallabies marching well into Welsh territory, off the back off two Welsh penalties. The first scrum of the match saw the Australians win a penalty off a dominant performance allowing captain Ryan Lonergan to give Australia a 3-0 lead.

Before the match hit the ten-minute mark, Wales was able to level the scores with a penalty of their own through Cai Evans after Australia too was pinged for offside.

Both sides continued to trade territorial blows, but neither was able to establish clear dominance in the opening exchanges. It took until the 21st minute for either team to trouble the scoreboard with Cai Evans kicking a penalty from 50 out to gives Wales a 3-6 lead.

Australia’s dominance at the set piece gave the Junior Wallabies a penalty advantage well inside the 22, with Bayley Kuenzle kicking for his winger, James Ramm who leapt over his opposite number and batted the ball into the arms of Mack Hansen for Australia’s first try.

The lead changed hands again, with Wales countering of a try of their own with a deft kick behind the defence allowing Nicholas Jones to score and gives Wales an 8-13 lead.

Australia narrowed the gap almost immediately with a penalty to Ryan Lonergan, bringing the score to 11-13.

Wales was able to find a gap in the Australian defence just before the break, with Corey Baldwin crossing the line for Wales’ second try and moving the scoreboard to 11-20.

Both kickers traded penalties in the opening ten minutes of the second half, bringing the score to 14-23, as the Junior Wallabies fought to regain the lead.

The kicking off Cai Evans proved to be a real advantage for Wales as the young man’s accuracy with the boot with another penalty moved the deficit to 12 points (14-26) in the 58th minute.

Australia was left to rue missed opportunities in the second half, with some last touches not coming off for the Junior Wallabies when Wales was being placed under pressure.

A late try in the 77th minute to Tate McDermott closed the gap, but Wales had done enough, holding onto their 21-26 lead.

Australia will next play Japan on Sunday 3 June.

4 mins: Ryan Lonergan pen, AUS 3-0 WAL
9 mins: Cai Evans pen, AUS 3-3 WAL
21 mins: Cai Evans pen, AUS 3-6 WAL
24 mins: Mack Hansen try AUS 8-6 WAL
31 mins: Nicholas Jones try, Cai Evans con AUS 8-13 WAL
34 mins: Ryan Lonergan pen, AUS 11-13 WAL
37 mins: Corey Baldwin try, Cai Evans con AUS 11-20 WAL
41 mins: Cai Evans pen, AUS 11-23 WAL
48 mins: Ryan Lonergan pen, AUS 14-23 WAL
58 mins: Cai Evans pen, AUS 14-26 WAL
77 mins: Tate McDermott try, Isaac Lucas con, AUS 21-26 WAL

2018 World Rugby U20s Championship fixtures
Sunday 3 June

Australia v Japan, 10.00pm AEST, Stade de la Mediterranee, Bézier
Friday 8 June
Australia v New Zealand, 5.00am AEST, Stade Aime-Giral, Perpignan
*Dates and times have been named as AEST

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