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Thread: Junior All Blacks retain PNC title

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    Junior All Blacks retain PNC title

    Junior All Blacks retain PNC title

    16 JUNE 2007

    By Karen Bond


    A clinical performance from the Junior All Blacks resulted not only in seven unanswered tries and a 50-0 defeat of Australia A, but also the successful defence of their IRB Pacific Nations Cup title in Dunedin on Saturday.

    Both sides had come into the match with unbeaten records, the Junior All Blacks sitting atop the standings by virtue of three bonus point victories to Australia A’s two in the previous three rounds, so many had predicted an exciting and close encounter.

    The reality was that the Junior All Blacks were simply too strong for a side that had welcomed six Wallabies into the fold since last weekend’s 71-10 rout of Japan, wrapping up the bonus point that confirmed them as champions within the half hour mark.

    There was, unusually, no Haka performed on the pitch before the match, but the Junior All Blacks quickly made their intentions clear in a scrappy opening by both sides, fly half Stephen Donald’s penalty in the third minute opening the scoring.

    Turning defence into attack

    Australia A fullback Peter Hewat missed a penalty attempt three minutes later, and the visitors rarely threatened the Junior All Blacks line after that, kicking away possession or simply unable to break through a resolute defence determined to protect their line.

    Even when Australia A did get within metres of the line after 11 minutes after a break by number 8 David Lyons, it ended in a breakaway try for the Junior All Blacks, prop John Afoa picking up at the breakdown to feed Donald for an 80 metre run in.

    Afoa came close to scoring himself minutes later, only to see scrum half Josh Holmes wrestle the ball away, but the Junior All Blacks did claim a second try after a break from the lively Andrew Ellis, the ball making its way out to lock Tom Donnelly on the overlap.

    The third try came in the 23rd minute after an error from Hewat, the fullback electing to run the ball out from in goal with no support and faced by charging home players. The ball came out, gifting number 8 Sione Lauaki an easy pick up to touch down.

    Unassailable lead in standings

    Things got worse for Australia minutes later with prop Nic Henderson sin-binned for a punch to the body, and when they failed to find touch with a kick on the half hour, the Junior All Blacks went through the phases for Scott Hamilton to score.

    The Junior All Blacks had scored a point per minute with a 31-0 lead that effectively put the result beyond doubt and secured the bonus point that, with victory, would give them an unassailable six point lead over Australia A with only one round remaining.

    However, the home side were not about to rest on their laurels, wing Anthony Tuitavake adjudged to have knocked on before grounding the ball one minute, only to get the try after another kick by Sam Norton-Knight failed to find touch on halfway.

    Donald’s conversion, maintaining his perfect record with the boot, was the last kick of the first half, sending the Junior All Blacks in leading 38-0 at the interval against an Australia A side who had enjoyed very little of the ball to that point.

    No way through for Australia A

    Australia A did begin to enjoy more possession in the third quarter of the match with wing Digby Ioane, one of the players involved in the Wallabies’ recent Tests with Wales and Fiji, making some good breaks only for the defence to hold firm.

    Remarkably, given the point per minute ratio in the first half, some 18 minutes had passed before the first score after the break, Sam Tuitupou combining well with his fellow centre Ma’a Nonu for the latter to race 20 metres through a gap to touch down.

    Donald missed his first kick at goal in a commanding performance with he and halfback partner Ellis driving the Junior All Blacks forward, but within minutes a seventh try followed with replacement Daniel Braid going under the posts from Lauaki’s pick up.

    This time Donald slotted the conversion to bring up the half century and, although there was still 19 minutes to go, there would be no further scores as both sides rang the changes in a match which saw Donnelly sin-binned two minutes from time.

    The Pacific Nations Cup champions now head to Tokyo to face Japan, coached by former All Black World Cup winner John Kirwan, next weekend, while Australia A must regroup before their final match against Fiji in Suva.

    Match statistics:

    JUNIOR ALL BLACKS:
    1. Clarke Dermody 2. Derren Witcombe 3. John Afoa 4. Hoani MacDonald 5. Tom Donnelly 6. Jerome Kaino 7. Marty Holah (Captain) 8. Sione Lauaki 9. Andrew Ellis 10. Stephen Donald 11. Anthony Tuitavake 12. Sam Tuitupou 13. Ma'a Nonu 14. Scott Hamilton 15. Cory Jane.

    Replacements: 16. Corey Flynn 17. Campbell Johnstone 18. Mose Tuiali'i 19. Daniel Braid 20. Jimmy Cowan 21. Stephen Brett 22. Tane Tu'ipulotu.

    Tries: Stephen Donald, Tom Donnelly, Sione Lauaki, Anthony Tuitavake, Scott Hamilton, Ma'a Nonu, Daniel Braid.
    Conversions: Stephen Donald (6)
    Penalties: Stephen Donald

    Yellow card: Tom Donnelly

    AUSTRALIA A: 1. Nic Henderson 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau 3. Rodney Blake 4. Alister Campbell (Captain) 5. James Horwill 6. Hugh McMeniman 7. Julian Salvi 8. David Lyons 9. Josh Holmes 10. Sam Norton-Knight 11. Digby Ioane 12. Ryan Cross 13. Junior Pelesasa 14. Cameron Shepherd 15. Peter Hewat.

    Replacements: 16. Sean Hardman 17. Troy Takiari 18. Dean Mumm 19. Jone Tawake 20. Josh Valentine 21. Gene Fairbanks 22. Lachlan Turner.

    Yellow card: Nic Henderson.

    Australia A-bysmal in hiding

    Nathan Burdon
    Sunday, June 17, 2007


    Junior All Blacks 50 Australia A 0

    THE Junior All Blacks blew away their nearest rivals Australia A at Carisbrook in Dunedin yesterday to take an unassailable lead in the Pacific Nations Cup.

    Scoring seven tries, five in a rampant first-half display, they sealed the cup for the second consecutive year with a round still to play.

    Australia A did not play in the competition last year and though they went into yesterday's match unbeaten, the Junior All Blacks looked in a different league.

    They had the game sewn up after 30 minutes when winger Scott Hamilton scored the bonus point-earning fourth try to give them a 31-0 lead.

    While Australia A travel to play Fiji next week, the Junior All Blacks travel to play Japan. Those games are now meaningless.

    Effectively the B teams of both countries, the Junior All Blacks and Australia A were invited to play in the cup to give the second-tier nations meaningful competition.

    Five-eighth Stephen Donald scored 20 points today from a try, a penalty goal and six conversions. He missed only one kick, which hit the upright.

    The other Junior All Black tries came from lock Tom Donnelly, loose forward Sione Lauaki, wingers Scott Hamilton and Anthony Tuitavake, centre Ma'a Nonu and replacement flanker Daniel Braid.

    Donnelly, who missed much of the Super 14 season while recovering from a shoulder operation, was the man of the match and earned praise from his coach Colin Cooper.

    "I thought he came on better and better and started to dominate the lineouts and I really felt he put his hand up," Cooper said.

    Australia A fielded a team containing seven Wallabies hoping to boost their prospects of playing at the World Cup in France but they found themselves outclassed. In a beaten team, Wallabies forwards David Lyons and James Horwill were among Australia A's best.

    "We just panicked in defence and defended as individuals," Australia A coach Laurie Fisher said.

    "We were never in the game."

    Australia A thrashed in Dunedin

    From correspondents in Dunedin, New Zealand
    June 16, 2007


    AUSTRALIA A has suffered a crushing and demoralising defeat by the Junior All Blacks at Carisbrook, Dunedin, slumping to a 50-0 reverse that saw the home side secure the Pacific Nations Cup title.

    Australia A fielded a team containing seven full internationals who were hoping to boost their prospects of playing at the Rugby World Cup in France later this year, but the visitors were no match for the Junior All Blacks in freezing conditions.

    The home side outmuscled and pressured the previously undefeated visitors, breaking the advantage line almost at will and recycling the ball quickly in establishing a 38-0 lead at half-time.

    The hapless Australians weren't helped by the early loss to a head gash of openside flanker Julian Salvi, which which left them without a ball securer and pilferer at the breakdown, but his absence seemingly had little bearing on the result.

    Australia A prop Nick Henderson also was sin-binned, with the referee saying he had punched an opponent when in fact he was attempting to clear away an infringing rival at the breakdown.

    Australia A captain Alister Campbell said his side could find no response to the ruthless efficiency of its hosts.

    "We were blown off the park early on," Campbell said.

    "We missed a lot of one-on-one tackles.

    "It's going to be a long way back from there."

    Junior All Blacks captain Marty Holah meanwhile said that his side had executed a simple game plan to be "really physical with ball in hand".

    Australia A was expected to offer tough opposition for the Junior All Blacks, but its challenge dissipated quickly.

    The New Zealanders had much stronger team combinations and execution, while the Australians were overwhelmed all over the field and let themselves down with some half-hearted defence.

    The 40 per cent of possession that Australia A did get lacked continuity, and hence its attacks fizzled quickly.

    Junior All Blacks fly half Stephen Donald was at the heart of his side's dominance, scoring 15 points with his accurate boot after running more than 80 metres for the opening try.

    From there on, the tries came regularly against a poor defence.

    Second row Tom Donnelly, No.8 Sione Lauaki, and wings Scott Hamilton and Anthony Tuitavake contributed to the flood of first-half tries, with Donald converting all five and kicking a penalty to give the Juniors a 38-0 half-time lead.

    Australia A coach Laurie Fisher lamented his side's performance in the first half.

    "We just panicked in defence and defended as individuals, trying to clean up the problem," he said.

    "But in doing that, it just created more problems."

    .Australia A showed more commitment in the early part of the second spell, but it never threatened to cross the New Zealand try line.

    Junior All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu finished a backline move in the 58th minute and replacement flanker Daniel Braid touched down just three minutes later.

    Donald's conversion of Braid's try rounded out the scoring.

    Fisher said the result today would have little bearing on Australia's chance at the Rugby World Cup, to kick off in France in September, saying "you play the same game next week and get a different result".

    Fisher admitted, however, that his players had been unable to match the physicality of the home side.

    "We were certainly overwhelmed by it." he said.

    "We were well aware of (the physicality) but the Junior All Blacks brought a Test-match intensity to the game.

    "We were never in the game."

    Australia A, for which Wallabies forwards David Lyons and James Horwill were among its best today, now spends four days in Auckland before travelling to Suva for its final match of the tournament, against Fiji next weekend.

    The Junior All Blacks meanwhile round out their campaign with a fixture against Japan.

    - with Agence Frane-Presse

    AAP

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  2. #2
    Veteran Ecky's Avatar
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    Anyone know how Shep went?

    Obviously he didn't score but did he perform? Play the whole match?

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    Player lmaag's Avatar
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    watched the 1st half and... decided I could view it no more. David Lyons tried hard and that was about it.

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    Sheps is still smarting from the knee injury. He wasn't really speedy enough in defense and in attack saw no ball because the forwards were absolutely dominated at the breakdown. I seem to remember two major touches one good (neat offload to TPN almost getting a try) and one bad (not releasing after the tackle). Turnovers came left right and centre. I think they managed one 5+ phases play which ended in a turnover. Marty Holah gave a right punishing.

    That said Laurie Fisher's team selection I thought was appauling. It sucks for him to get 6 potential Wallabies back that he really has to put in the team. But they didn't play as a team and to make matters worse Julian Salvi, who really shouldn't have been playing given Pocock's blinder the week before, was injured very early. There was no replacement openside on the bench instead another Brumby in Jone Tawake. Dean Mumm (bench) could have covered 4,5,6,8 so Pocock should definitely have been ahead of Tawake.

    I think Sheps deserves another chance but Horwill and Tatafu were the only stand-out performers in the entire team. Forget David Lyons he wasn't that spectacular IMHO.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    I agree James,Sheps looked more short of match fitness than anything else. He was pretty slow and got little ball. I thought his defense was OK considering it was his first game and the amount of tackling everyone had to do. He slipped off a couple. I'd look for him to play fullback next week and transition into the big team soon. Peter Hewat is sooooo not a threat, and Shep is far more deadly, with both the boot and the run, than Huxley.

    question, who played worst on Saturday, was it Peter Hewat or Sam Norton Knight?

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    C'mon the

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    Yep i agree Sheps has lost pace after the knee injury, I dont think too many Aust A boys really pushed the selectors for a position into the Wallabies.

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  7. #7
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    On the actual JAB's tournament win, you would have to think that as a team they could be ranked 4th or 5th in the World as a seperate nation.
    Full credit to NZ to depth they have, as don't forget they also had the Maori All Blacks playing England Saxons in the Final of the Churchill Cup at the start of the month!

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    Player Nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs
    On the actual JAB's tournament win, you would have to think that as a team they could be ranked 4th or 5th in the World as a seperate nation.
    Full credit to NZ to depth they have, as don't forget they also had the Maori All Blacks playing England Saxons in the Final of the Churchill Cup at the start of the month!

    Im sold mate Let us put the AB's junior AB's and the NZ Maori in to the RWC we'll have a crack at it!

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