Australia U20s into Fifth Place Final after Italian victory

Wednesday June 14, 2017

The Australia U20s have defeated Italy 42-19 at the World Rugby U20s Championship overnight, in Tbilisi, Georgia, moving Australia into the battle to finish in Fifth.

Australia replacement Semisi Tupou looks to pass in their fifth place semi-final with Italy on day four of the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship.
Photo credit: Levan Verdzeuli/World Rugby

Australia scored six tries to three in the dominant display with Australian centre Izaia Perese scoring a hat-trick against the Italians.

Australia were forced to work for their victory with Italy bringing the match to within two points at the half time break, but the Australians found their groove, to bury the match in the second half with four tries.

Australia U20s Head Coach, Simon Cron said: “I thought we played a lot better field position in the second half. We were still a bit under par in terms of our execution and I thought some of our guys were trying to offload too much in heavy contact and we gave that message at half time.

“Izaia (Perese) is an awesome athlete and a great human being. He has a lot of Rugby ahead of him. The key thing for him and he knows it is that the team creates the space for him. I back him 100 percent.

“Our forward pack has been outstanding in the four games we have played thus far. Our defensive shape has been really good and our scrum was brilliant today again. We work pretty hard on all those things as a coaching staff but Hendo (Nic Henderson) has done a great job around the set piece.

“This week as a group had a pretty tough time after that English loss. The hardest part for the boys was watching the last five minutes together and learning from the decisions we made on the field to make sure that if they end up in that situation again they do the right thing and nail it.

“We know how good Wales were and Scotland have been outstanding. Either will be a massive challenge for us so we just need to regroup and start again.”

Australia will play the winner of Wales or Scotland in the Fifth Place Final on Sunday 18 June at 7.00pm AEST with the match to broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports.

It was a scrappy start by the Australians as the rush up Italian defence and the wind forced a few early handling errors in the opening exchanges.

The Australian forwards then showed their dominance and created some excellent attacking opportunities that Queensland Reds centre, Izaia Perese took with both hands scoring two quick tries in a matter of minutes to shock the Italians into a 14-0 deficit.

The match turned into a real arm wrestle as Italy with an impressive line speed continued to ask questions of the Australians in defence.

It took until the 34th minute for Italy to register their first points with a try in the corner through quick thinking fullback, Roberto Dal Zlio to take the score to 14-5.

Italy with the wind and momentum at their back scored another quick try through replacement centre Giovanni D’onofrio to narrow the gap to 14-12 where the score remained at the half time break.

The second half saw the men in gold regain the momentum as the Izaia Perese scored his hat-trick try of the match to extend the lead.

Harrison Goddard who had already had a perfect day with the boot, continued his excellent form seen across the Championship with a try of his own in the 53rd minute to take the lead to 28-12.

Melbourne Rebels’ centre, Sione Tuipulotu cemented the Australian dominance two minutes later when a break by Semisi Tupou allowed the Victorian to cross the try line to extend Australia’s lead to 35-12.

Italy fought hard to work their way back into the game and after waves of attack on the Australian try line were finally able to score through fullback Robero Dal Zillo who scored in the corner to bring the score to 35-19.

A late try to Australian captain Reece Hewat was the final display of domination by the Australian pack, with a dominant scrum allowing Hewat to break free and score underneath the posts and take the final score to 42-19.

Australia 42 (Izaia Perese 3, Harrison Goddard, Sione Tuipulotu, Reece Hewat tries; Harrison Goddard 5, Harry Nucifora cons;) defeated Italy 19 (Roberto Dal Zilio 2, Giovanni D’onofrio tries; Antonio RIzzi 2 cons).

News Source: ARU Media