England on a roll with win over Australia
June 6, 2014
England captain Maro Itoje shows some encouragement to Nick Tompkins © Getty Images
England made it two wins from two with victory over old foes Australia at the IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand. The defending champions crossed for five tries as they ran out 38-24 winners, with scores coming from Gus Jones and two apiece from Nathan Earle and Henry Taylor. Australia managed a hat-trick of tries through Jake McIntyre and two from Andrew Kellaway as they threw everything they had at England, but the 2013 winners' physicality was enough to power them home.
South Africa joined England on two wins with an impressive 33-24 victory over New Zealand. In what was billed as the highlight of the competition's second matchday, the Junior Springboks took a giant step towards semi-final qualification after outscoring the All Blacks by four tries to three. New Zealand's scores came through Tevita Li, whose hat-trick of tries will come as little consolation in defeat. South Africa's four tries came from the hands of Jesse Kriel, Lloyd Greef, Warrick Gelant and captain Handre Pollard, and, on today's evidence, the senior sides of these southern hemisphere heavyweights have a lot to look forward to.
Ireland picked up their first win of the campaign against Wales, defeating their Six Nations rivals 35-21 with an impressive four-try offering. While Wales might have enjoyed the early try in their last match against Fiji, it was Ireland who touched down after just four minutes as Rory Burke crossed the whitewash. Further tries came from Cian Kelleher and Garry Ringrose, who scored once in each half. Wales' managed two scores from Tyler Morgan and James Benjamin but they could not quite catch the Irish as they accelerated towards the final whistle.
Samoa opened their account by defeating Scotland 27-18 at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe. Each side scored three tries, but the Scots were undone by a missed penalty goal and three conversions. Samoa were never headed after taking a third-minute lead through a penalty from William Talataina Mu, and they put the game to bed with converted tries from Nathaniel Apa and Talataina Mu in the opening minutes of the second half. Scotland fought back with tries from Sam Pecquer and James Ritchie, but they could not reel in their opponents and slipped to their second loss from as many games.
France levelled the Euro-Pacific ledger in the second match in Pukekohe, rolling Fiji 32-0. But the complexion of the game changed with the 31st-minute red card to replacement Fiji fly-half Maika Baleinaloto, who had been on the pitch only for 12 minutes. Fiji No.8 Vincent Sosefu was issued a yellow card four minutes later and the floodgates opened in the second half. France led just 8-0 at the break, but they were awarded a penalty try just four minutes into the second stanza and they crossed for four more tries in the next 30 minutes.
Italy, meanwhile, defeated Argentina 29-26 in a ding-dong fixture at QBE Stadium in Albany. The sides each scored two converted tries, but Italy's Filippo Buscema got the better of Patricio Fernandez in the battle of the kicking captains in landing four penalties and a drop goal. Buscema also missed a drop goal and two penalties, but the Junior Pumas paid the price for their continued ill-discipline.
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