Wales U20 overcome Australia with a 21-26 win in Beziers

Australia U20 21-26 Wales U20, Beziers

Wales avenged their defeat to Australia last year as they completed a 21-26 victory in the World Rugby U20 Championship opener in Beziers on Wednesday.

This is also Wales' first win over Australia at U20 Championship as they headed into the game with a 0-3 record previously.

Ryan Lonergan kicked a fifth-minute penalty to begin the proceedings for Australia but Cai Evans led Wales' response with back to back three-pointers by the end of the first quarter.

The opening try in the game came in the 25th minute when Mackenzie Hansen dotted down but Ioan Nicholas responded with a try of his own by the half-hour mark and replacement Joe Goodchild followed the suit seven minutes later. A double conversion from Evans meant Wales had an 11-20 lead heading into the break.

The second half started the same as the first with Lonergan and Evans exchanging penalties and as the third quarter was about to end the Wales fullback also kicked his fourth penalty kick to give Wales 14-26 lead.

With three minutes left in the game Tate McDermott's try followed by a conversion from Isaac Lucas gave the Junior Wallabies some hope but they succumbed to a five-point defeat.

Wales captain Tommy Reffell said: “Fair play to Cai he slots them all day in training so to see him do it on the pitch, on a stage like this, was fantastic. We said we weren't just here to make up the numbers in the pool, we want to compete with the best in the world.”

Australia captain Ryan Lonergan said: “We lost the game. We really didn’t play the way we should have. We played in the right areas of the field, but we couldn’t execute any plays or build any pressure.

"Full credit to Wales they are a quality outfit. We can take (positives) that we were still in the match in the last play, even though we didn’t play the way we wanted to. We made a lot of errors that we shouldn’t be making so I guess that’s a positive, but it really is back to the drawing board. We need to fix those things because it’s not good enough.”