Argentina U20 13-34 Australia U20, Racecourse Stadium
Australia successfully managed to overcome a red card to Michael McDonald as they defeated Argentina 13-34 to reach the final of the World Rugby U20 Championship.
The Junior Wallabies will now face France in the final at Racecourse Stadium on Saturday.
Ben Donaldson kicked a 12th minute penalty to begin the proceedings for Australia but they suffered a setback in the 19th minute when McDonald was yellow-carded and immediately Joaquin De La Vega Mendia kicked a three-pointer to level the scores.
Despite being one man down, Australia went on to score the opening try in the game in the 22nd minute through Harry Wilson and Donaldson followed with the conversion. A second penalty kick from La Vega Mendia narrowed down the gap to four points but at the stroke of half-time McDonald touched down to provide Australia advantage.
However, the hero turned villain as McDonald was sent-off just before the break and this time a penalty try was awarded to Argentina as the teams ended the first half with a 13-17 scoreline. Despite having an additiona player in the second half, Argentina barely looked in the game as they were unable to add any point and instead conceded tries to Lachlan Lonergan (44') and Donaldson (54') as Australia completed a 21 point win to reach the final.
“The truth is we took a lot of confidence [from beating France],” Los Pumitas captain Juan Pablo Castro said.
“We had a very, very, good first half. But there are also things to work on, like the first 20 minutes in the second half. If we correct those things I think we could have a great next game.”
“You really notice the public and the fans. That is a plus for us in every game, so hopefully they will continue to support us as it is a great help.”
Australia captain Fraser McReight admitted the prospect of playing the hosts in front of their own fans was “unreal”.
“Their home crowd is going to be pretty much their 16th man. So, I think if we can kind of counteract that with how we want to play and slow their tempo down and play how we can play [we can] hopefully come out with the chocolates,” he said.