Australia were overpowered by Six Nations champions Ireland in a 30-10 loss at the under-20 world championship in South Africa on Thursday night (AEST).
The Junior Wallabies scored the first try of the Pool B clash in Paarl and it was a beauty in wet and heavy conditions.
David Vaihu sparked the sweeping breakout from the Australian backs and his midfield partner Henry O’Donnell was on hand to finish the thrilling score.
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That gave Nathan Grey’s side a 7-3 lead after 24 minutes – and also served as a wake-up call for a quality Ireland team.
The favourites knuckled down to take a 11-10 lead into half time before Australian winger Tim Ryan made a costly error, dropping the ball cold with the try-line beckoning.
James Nicholson, Brian Gleeson, Gus McCarthy and Diarmuid Mangan scored Ireland’s tries to complete a bonus point win.
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“Obviously a pretty disappointing result,” Australia captain Teddy Wilson said.
“Ireland was strong in that second half. Our first half was a solid performance from the boys, but you’ve got to be solid for the 80 minutes, not just 40.
“We’ll have to look back at it and I’m sure there’s a few positives.
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“But right now I’m not sure … discipline is definitely a big part of the game and we let too many in our second half and gave them too much ball down our end.”
Australia won their opening game against Fiji while Ireland drew with England.
Australia’s next game is against England on Tuesday (10pm AEST).
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