Thursday, March 29, 2007

NZ-Oz U-19 Final

April 18, 2006

The end of SH dominance?

Associated Press via Sydney Morning Herald:

Australia held out France 26-16 and will clash again with New Zealand in the final of the world under-19 rugby championship.

New Zealand throttled England 24-11 in the other semifinal to set up its bid in Friday's final for a fourth title in six years.

The New Zealanders beat Australia 22-17 last Friday in the final round of pool play, and remain the only undefeated side after France was stopped.

Australia enjoyed a dream start, scoring four first-half tries to lead France 26-6 by halftime. French hopes took another dive just before the break when winger Yoann Huget was sent off for a dangerous tackle on opposite Brett Stapleton, who had to be stretchered off.

It took only two minutes for Australia to score, when Anthony Faingaa pierced the defence and flanker AJ Gilbert put in Brett Gillespie. Scrumhalf Joshua Holmes claimed the second in the 11th off a tapped five-metre penalty, and No.8 Patrick McCutcheon scored when he picked up loose ball at a ruck five metres out.

Replacement hooker James Hanson, just four minutes on after replacing injured captain Sale Faingaa, then finished off a breakout for the fourth try, and Australia was all set to cruise in.

"The composure we showed and ball control was fantastic, every chance we created we seemed to grasp," said Australia coach Phil Mooney.

Despite being reduced to 14 players, France dominated second-half play, but Australia's resolute defence allowed only two tries, both to flanker Alexandre Valdant in the 68th and 74th minutes.

"It was very hard for us to come back after that first half, we conceded too many tries. It was impossible even though we did our best in the second half with our forwards," France coach Christophe Mombet said.

Source: AP


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home