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Thread: Australia U20s name side for must-win Ireland match

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    Australia U20s name side for must-win Ireland match

    Mon, Jul 8, 2024, 6:13 AM
    Nathan Williamson


    Australia U20s coach Nathan Grey has locked in his side to face Ireland in a must-win clash on Tuesday.

    Grey has made one change to the pack, with Nick Bloomfield elevated to the starting side.

    Catch all the U20 World Championships games free on Rugby Pass TV

    Bloomfield swaps with Trevor King, with the Souths prop reverting back to the bench.

    In the backs, Archie Saunders returns to the back three after missing the defeat to Italy.

    Austin Durbidge comes onto the bench as Grey has named a 6-2 bench split, with Waratahs teammate Billy Dickens and Boston Fakafanua set to cover the backs.

    Nathaniel Tititi has been cleared to return after he was a late withdrawal from last week’s defeat to Italy

    Australia needs to defeat top-ranked Ireland and deny them a bonus point if they wish to ensure their qualification for the semi-finals.


    They currently sit in second place in Pool B, with the top sides from each Pool and the best-ranked second-place finisher qualifying for the finals.

    Captain Toby Macpherson called for a response after the five point defeat to the Italians with their tournament on the line.

    "I don't think (the game) slipped away, we just missed our opportunities in the A-zone. We created plenty of opportunities, we've just got to be better at executing them," Macpherson told broadcaster RugbyPass TV post-game.

    "You can say it rained or it was windy but at the end of the day, we've got to get better and that's what we're planning on doing this week leading into Ireland.

    “…They (Ireland) are a really good team, a class outfit, but they've got points that we'll attack and no doubt they've got points on us. The boys have got to get up, swallow the tough pill today, back it up this week at training, get better and get better quick.”

    Australia U20 vs. Ireland U20

    Athlone Sports Stadium, Cape Town

    2pm local / 8pm AWST Tuesday 9 July


    1. Lington Ieli - ACT Brumbies, Tuggeranong Vikings
    2. Ottavio Tuipulotu - Melbourne Rebels, Eastern Suburbs
    3. Nick Bloomfield - Queensland Reds, Easts Brisbane
    4. Toby Macpherson (c) - ACT Brumbies, Uni-Norths Owls
    5. Ollie McCrea - NSW Waratahs, Eastern Suburbs
    6. Aden Ekanayake - Australia Sevens, Gordon Rugby Club
    7. Dane Sawers - Western Force, Kalamunda Districts
    8. Jack Harley - ACT Brumbies, Gungahlin Eagles
    9. Dan Nelson - ACT Brumbies, Canberra Royals
    10. Harry McLaughlin-Phillips - Queensland Reds, Souths Brisbane
    11. Ronan Leahy - Western Force, Sydney University
    12. Jarrah McLeod - ACT Brumbies, Canberra Royals
    13. Kadin Pritchard - ACT Brumbies, Gungahlin Eagles
    14. Archie Saunders - NSW Waratahs, Warringah Rugby Club
    15. Shane Wilcox - ACT Brumbies, Tuggeranong Vikings

    16. Bryn Edwards - NSW Waratahs, Sydney University
    17. Nathaniel Tiitii - NSW Waratahs, Eastern Suburbs
    18. Trevor King - Queensland Reds, Souths Brisbane
    19. Eamon Doyle - NSW Waratahs, Sydney University
    20. Austin Durbidge - NSW Waratahs, Sydney University
    21. Dominic Thygesen - Queensland Reds, Souths Brisbane
    22. Billy Dickens - NSW Waratahs, Eastern Suburbs
    23. Boston Fakafanua - Western Force, Sydney University

    Have been really impressed with the maturity and leadership of Captain Toby Macpherson, particularly in post match interviews.
    One to watch for the future assuming gains a contract.

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    Weather forecast ain't looking great- wet and windy- not our conditions at all.

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    Australia U20s bracing for cyclonic conditions for do-or-die Ireland match

    Tue, Jul 9, 2024, 11:51 AM
    Nathan Williamson


    Australia U20s coach Nathan Grey is looking to harness the cyclonic conditions in a quest to book their spot in the semi-finals against Ireland.

    Wind gusts of close to 100 km/h and a downpour of close to 25mm are expected to welcome the two sides in Cape Town for the final pool game of the U20 World Championships.

    Catch all the U20 World Championships games free on Rugby Pass TV

    The Australians got a taste of it in their 17-12 defeat to Italy and coach Grey is hoping it will allow them to best adapt to the conditions on Tuesday.

    “I think our forwards against Italy rolled their sleeves up and performed really well, we’ve just got to make sure that we can put them in the right part of the field. It’s going to be similar conditions we’ve played in which is great, that’ll be an advantage for us," he said.

    “Ireland played Georgia last week in the radiant sunshine so we’re going to welcome them into some muddy, wet and tight footy.

    “(Ireland) are pretty used to those types of conditions as well but their last two games have been in the good weather. We’ve had a tough on in the wet so we’re looking forward to it and looking to use that as an advantage."

    Grey has named a side geared around the conditions, with Archie Saunders brought back onto the wing for his highball ability.

    They have also named a 6-2 bench split, with Austin Durbidge set for his debut.

    “We’re looking at this week as we win, we’re in. That’s our focus," Grey said.

    “The guys have been training really well. We had a great session yesterday in the cyclonic conditions which was a bit of fun but the guys got stuck in and we’re prepared and ready to go.”

    Australia needs to defeat top-ranked Ireland to ensure their qualification for the semi-finals.

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    Well that's.... unfortunate...
    Surely they could have delayed until after the "third" match or the next morning.
    Sounds like the organisers yielded to the influence of the Irish Doctor.

    Australia U20s coach Grey blasts call to cancel Ireland game, ending World Championship semi-final hopes

    Tue, Jul 9, 2024, 8:14 PM
    Nathan Williamson


    Australia U20s coach Nathan Grey has slammed the decision to cancel their final pool match against Ireland due to weather.

    Australia needed victory to advance in Pool B after they went down to Italy in their previous fixture, however, the game was called off after the field was deemed not safe to play.

    "Due to heavy rainfall in the Cape Town region on Tuesday 9 July, the pitch at Athlone Stadium has been assessed in partnership with organisers and match officials and currently declared not safe to play," a World Rugby statement read.

    "As a result, the first match scheduled at this venue between Ireland U20 and Australia U20 has been cancelled and as per the tournament rules, both teams have been awarded two competition points.

    "The pitch will be assessed again ahead of the two remaining World Rugby U20 Championship matches due to take place at this venue and will only go ahead if the weather conditions improve, and the pitch is sufficiently drained for rugby to be played in safe conditions."

    This left Grey furious, questioning the call to cancel the game after playing in worse conditions in the Rugby Championship whilst suggesting the decision was made after a push from the Irish camp.

    "Bitterly disappointed for the players and the staff but the decision has been taken out of our hands and we don't get the opportunity to play Ireland and finish on top of our pool," he said via RugbyPass

    "We played two games of Rugby Championships in much worse conditions but a strong push from the Irish doctor seemed to work with World Rugby in cancelling the game."

    Futhering the anger was the revelation that the two later games were cleared to play on the pitch.

    The result means Ireland will advance to the semi-finals after wins over Georgia and Italy to start their tournament.

    As for the Australians, they will playoff for position, likely in the 5th-8th place semi-finals.

    "The boys are shattered. We were very well prepared for this game and trained in worse conditions two days ago," Grey added.

    "It's an opportunity that has been taken out of their hands but I'm sure World Rugby are doing it for the right reasons, I just hope they are true.

    "...The conditions are fine. The surface water isn't that bad. Yeah it's boggy and wet but no worse than any conditions Ireland have played in before and certainly we've played in before.

    "The conditions are properly better than what we played Italy in so it's a bit confusing."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Well that's.... unfortunate...
    Surely they could have delayed until after the "third" match or the next morning.
    Sounds like the organisers yielded to the influence of the Irish Doctor.
    While uncommon, there is precedent for this though.
    Three games at RWC2019 were cancelled and recorded as 0-0 draws due to the threat of Typhoon Hagibis, with later games at the same venues cleared to proceed.

    Japan vs Hong Kong (2015) was also abandoned after 20 minutes due to a massively waterlogged pitch (caused by excessively heavy rain courtesy of a passing typhoon) with the score being recorded as a draw, despite Japan leading at the time of abandonment.


    I'm not sure the U20s game being rearranged for after the 3rd scheduled match of the day would have been appropriate, being that it would have meant a 9.30pm kick off, for two teams that had been preparing for a 2pm start.

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    RA have "appealed" to WR for a reschedule of this match. If Grey's claims about pressure are correct you'd have to wonder what claims were made from a country where the game is played over Winter when it rains more than every second day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    RA have "appealed" to WR for a reschedule of this match. If Grey's claims about pressure are correct you'd have to wonder what claims were made from a country where the game is played over Winter when it rains more than every second day.
    To be honest, I've personally watched professional rugby matches played on far worse pitches than this one, but clearly the WR officials made the decision following a physical inspection of the pitch, and reached the conclusion they did based on that inspection.

    https://www.gettyimages.com.au/searc...ents=776171109

    The pitch was pretty cut up by the end of the England v SA match though, and I doubt would have survived a third game that night.

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    Didn’t they play a couple of games later that day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by valzc View Post
    Didn’t they play a couple of games later that day?

    Yes, once the pitch had had more time to drain.

    As per the pictures in my post above, the pitch did look quite torn up by the end of the second (should have been third) game of the day, and would have been unlikely to have lasted a third in those conditions.

    Plus, had the AUs v Ire game been rescheduled for that evening, it would have kicked off at 9.30pm.

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    Or could have been moved to any number of other rectangular fields in Cape Town...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Or could have been moved to any number of other rectangular fields in Cape Town...
    Yes I think that is more the point, playing 3 back to back games on the same pitch seems a bit risky at this time of year and having a back up pitch would seem an easy solution

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Or could have been moved to any number of other rectangular fields in Cape Town...
    Not as simple as that though.

    Staff, stadium prep, clean (of sponsorship) signage, broadcast camera installation etc plus many other considerations that can't just be activated last minute. You can't just decide to switch a venue, turn the lights on & play an international fixture with a few hours notice.

    Yes, some form of a game could technically still have gone ahead without some (though not all) of that stuff, but the regulations were clear that the points would be split 2-2 if a game had to be abandoned. Rescheduling the fixture wasn't an option in the tournament regs.

    Had roles been reversed, and Australia would have benefitted from the cancellation, I doubt that anyone on here would have been arguing for rescheduling the game to a different stadium at (very) short notice just so that it could have gone ahead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjs10 View Post
    Had roles been reversed, and Australia would have benefitted from the cancellation, I doubt that anyone on here would have been arguing for rescheduling the game to a different stadium at (very) short notice just so that it could have gone ahead.
    I would, it's Rugby.

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