NZ U20s bag Oceania opening victory
New Zealand outscored Australia four tries to one with Jordie Barrett, the younger brother of All Black Beauden, highlighting his own skills with 15 points to his name.
Australia U20 head coach Adrian Thompson pointed to crucial errors in the disappointing result.
“We got what we deserved tonight, that was unacceptable and we really need to turn around our attitude to playing these guys," said Thompson.
“Our execution wasn’t great but we’ve been together for the same time as the Kiwis and they made a lot of mistakes too but at the end of the day they covered theirs up well and we didn’t do it well enough.
“There is only one and half training days left this week but that’s what these guys have to get used to if they want to be selected for the World Championships.
“I’ve told them that and they are going to have to come back a lot better on Saturday if they want to get selected.”
The match between the two sides started at a frenetic pace with the Australians making some early territorial gains thanks to a breaking run from fullback, Jack Maddocks.
The first points of the match came from the boot of Barrett when the Australians infringed at the breakdown, taking the score to 0-3.
The first try of the match went to New Zealand after sustained pressure from the visitors wore down the Australian defence.
A brilliant step from flyhalf Stephen Pereofeta created space out wide and allowed Mason Emerson to score in the corner taking New Zealand’s lead to 0-8.
New Zealand continued to ask some serious questions of Australia’s defence, with fullback Maddocks and wing Ah-Mu Tuimalealifano being forced to bail Australia out of trouble with clearing kicks.
Growing into the game, Australia showed patience to regain possession off a powerful scrum and attacked for several phases.
New Zealand defended from an offside position which allowed flyhalf Mack Mason to score Australia’s first points for 2016 from 30 metres out taking the score to 3-8.
The scrum continued to be an area of dominance for the Aussies allowing the young men in gold to win a penalty on their five-metre line and escape their half.
New Zealand’s pressure continued to mount as the clock edged towards the halftime break, with some solid tryline defence by Australia preventing New Zealand scoring again leaving the score at 3-8 at halftime.
The second half saw the first points go to New Zealand who lifted the intensity of the match, with flank Quinten Strange crashing over in the corner after several phases of attack.
Barrett missed the conversion leaving the score at 3-13 in favour of the visitors.
Australia countered quickly with a break from Angus Scott-Young breaking through the New Zealand line allowing Moses Sorovi to score underneath the posts.
The successful conversion by Mason closed the gap to 10-13.
A try to Barrett off several phases of Kiwi attack brought the visitors their third try of the match with Barrett converting the try taking the score to 10-20.
A yellow card to Tyrel Lomax in the 64th minute created a huge momentum shift against the Aussies, with the Australian prop sent to the sin bin for a neck roll.
New Zealand continued to stretch the lead with a penalty through Barrett’s boot taking the score to 10-23.
New Zealand’s fourth try of the match came from a daring kick from Perofeta who sent the perfectly weighted kick to the outstretched arms of Mason Emerson to score in the corner.
Barrett continued his good form with the boot to take the score to 10-30, where it would remain until full time.
For New Zealand:
Tries: Barrett, Emerson 2, Strange
Cons: Barrett 2
Pens: Barrett 2