Mudgee youngster called up as Aussie U20s aim for fifth-place finish

Jun 11 • General News, International, World Rugby Junior Championship • 3136 Views • Comments Off on Mudgee youngster called up as Aussie U20s aim for fifth-place finish

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Mudgee-born prop Matt Sandell has received a shock call up to Australia’s Under 20s for the remainder of the IRB’s Junior World Championship in New Zealand.

It’s been a meteoric rise for the 19-year-old country kid. In his first year out of high school, the St Joseph’s College old boy started the season playing for Sydney University Colts before graduating to first grade and making his starting debut in last Saturday’s Shute Shield win over Southern Districts.

“It’s a credit to his work ethic,” said NSW Under 20s coach Tim Rapp.

“Not chosen in the Australian squad, he chose to apply his trade through Colts at Sydney University, then moved to grade and ultimately first grade. It’s a credit to the young man and his resilience.”

A member of the NSW team that won this year’s National Colts Championship, Sandell previously spent two seasons with Australian Schoolboys. In 2012 on the tour to New Zealand, he played tight-head and on the UK Tour the next year he played loose-head.

“He’s a long term prospect for the Waratahs,” claimed Rapp.

Meanwhile, with 10 NSW players among their ranks, on Monday the Australian Under 20s side secured a second place group finish with a convincing 29-3 win over Italy at the Junior World Cup in Auckland but failed to qualify for the targeted semi-finals.

Despite being a tough grind in the traditionally wet New Zealand weather, Australia’s Under 20s posted four tries to nil to earn a well-deserved bonus point win.

It took eight minutes for the Aussies to cross the Italian line, with hooker Feleti Kaitu’u scoring off a powerful forwards pick and drive.

Australia continued to dominate the match as Italy struggled to get possession off the dominant Australian pack. No. 8, Ross Haylett-Petty enforced the forwards’ domination with the team’s second try.

Inside centre Luke Burton was the last of many hands to touch the ball down over the line as Australia scored its third try of the match, moments before half time, before converting his own try to take Australia’s lead to 24-3 at the break.

For the majority of the second half, Australia was camped on Italy’s line for multiple phases, as the Italian defence challenged Australia in attack. Eventually the constant pressure paid dividends with lock Jack Payne scoring in the corner, ensuring a bonus-point try for Australia as the score moved to 29-3.

In the backs, fullback Andrew Kellaway and replacement Jimmy Stewart, both from NSW, epitomised the Waratahs’ style with good hands and a strong running game.
The pair played key roles alongside the NSW halves pairing of Angus Pulver and Tahs young talent David Horwitz in stretching the Italian defence to breaking point, resulting in four quality tries.

Up front prop Cameron Orr, lock Tom Robertson and breakaway Jack Dempsey played key roles in Australia’s forward dominance, possession and field position.

Defensively, all members of Australia’s 23 man squad stood up, with no tries conceded in the 80 minute encounter.
After the game, head coach Adrian Thompson praised his forwards’ dominance and the backs’ quick adjustment to the conditions and ability to use their pace out wide.

The 26-point win over Italy gave Australia two wins and one loss in the pool section but was not enough to earn them a spot in the semis, following defeat to England last Friday. The Under 20s are now playing for a fifth place finish when they take on Samoa on Sunday June 15, kick-off 12.35pm live on Fox Sports.

Australia U20s: 1.Cameron Orr, 2. Feleti Kaitu’u, 3. Tom Robertson, 4. Tom Staniforth, 5. Jack Payne, 6. Sean McMahon(c), 7. Jack Dempsey, 8. Ross Haylett-Petty, 9. Angus Pulver, 10. David Howitz, 11. Andrew Robinson, 12. Luke Burton, 13. Lalakai Foketi, 14. Brad Lacey, 15. Andrew Kellaway.

Replacements: 16.Tevita Vea, 17. Rory O’Connor, 18. Allan Ala’alatoa, 19. Lolo Fakaosilea, 20. Sam Croke, 21. Joe Powell, 22. Jimmy Stewart, 23. Conrad Quick.

Italy Under 20s: 1. Derrick Appiah, 2. Marco Silva, 3. Paolo Buonfiglio, 4. Filippo Scalvi, 5. Federica Ruzza, 6. Matteo Archetti, 7.Marco Lazzaroni, 8. Matteo Cornelli, 9. Maicol Azzolini (c), 10. Giacomo De Santis, 11. Lorenzo Maria Bruno, 12. Gabriele Manganiello, 13. Mattai Bellini, 14. Fillippo Lombardo, 15. Matteo Gasparini.

Replacements : 16. Francesco Vento, 17. Simone Ferrari, 18. Adriano Daniele, 19. Riccardo Michieletto, 20. Renato Giammarioli, 21. Simone Parisotto, 22. Filippo Buscema, 23. Gabriele Di Giulio.

Australia 29 (Feleti Kaitu’u, Ross Haylett-Petty, Luke Burton, Jack Payne tries; Burton 3 cons, pen) d Italy 3 (Giacomo de Santis pen).

Half-time: Australia 24 – Italy 3
Venue: Pukekohe, Auckland
Referee: Vlad Iordachescu (Romania)

Photo: Waratahs

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