JWC 2013: Day three reaction

(IRB.COM) Thursday 13 June 2013
 
 JWC 2013: Day three reaction
England broke a number of JWC scoring records in beating USA 109-0 to reach the semi-finals as the best runner-up - Photo: Christelle Glemet

We bring you all the latest reaction from the climax of the pool stages at the IRB Junior World Championship 2013.

POOL A

South Africa coach Dawie Theron: “We knew that the French would be passionate and very committed because they had so much to play for. They were lifted by a fantastic crowd and gave it their all. However, I am proud of the effort by each of my players because the win is what mattered most, and we deserved it in the end. Our guys stood firm, made some vital tackles and in the end we clinched it with a great try by Cheslin Kolbe.”

South Africa captain Ruan Steenkamp: “They disrupted us from the start and forced us into mistakes. We could not get the momentum that we wanted but we showed a lot of bravery and heart out there. We played much better towards the end, especially during the last 10 minutes. I am just relieved that we managed to beat them because they are a dangerous team. We will now regroup and prepare for the semi-final.”

France manager Fabien Pelous: "We can be pleased with the players' spirit but we cannot be satisfied with depending on a conversion at the end of the match to qualify or not. We are frustrated with the situation that has brought us to this. For the last three days, we have felt the players were keen to redeem themselves, to show their best, that they are proud to represent France. We could have won this match, Paul Jedrasiak managed to motivate the players on one common objective. We produced a proper game tonight. We still have this issue of not being clinical enough, especially in the first half, but at least we are creating opportunities but we still need to work.

"The crowd gives back what we give on the pitch and today we gave it our all and they gave back a lot. I have the impression the spectators felt emotions, I hope there is a particular feeling, a relation that was established with the France team as they showed they had a big heart and it's important for the French audience to show we are proud of wearing this jersey."

France captain Paul Jedrasiak: "We knew that they would run a lot in the first 20 minutes. We conceded a try but did not give anything away. Collectively we had a great performance. We went into this match as outsiders, but gave it all. We played South Africa and England, now we'll see the other teams and we'll have to do better than today and finish fifth, which is our objective. I really want to thank, in the name of the team, the supporters because as soon as we were in difficulty, they sang, supported us and helped us to get our head above the water and put them back under pressure.

France's Bastien Duhalde: "I am happy and proud but am gutted as if we had played like this from the start, we would have shown a different image of ourselves. We have often been criticised, and rightly so, because we did not play well. We were not clinical enough when we broke the defence and maybe lack a bit of luck in the kicks. We all wanted to redeem ourselves, people took us for good-for-nothing. We wanted to have a big performance and tonight people saw the game we wanted to put in place from the start. These were the toughest hits I have ever experienced but it's like a dream to play this kind of match, for sure, we'll never forget this."

England captain and hat-trick scorer Alex Day: “It was a massive win and very proud for myself as I was captaining my side but first and foremost we had to get the win and I don’t think the scoreline reflected the fight that the USA put up, they are a good team and just credit to the boys they stuck to it throughout the whole 80 minutes.

“It was all about us, we were not focused on what other teams were doing we just knew we had to get a good score against the USA and stuck to it throughout the whole 80 and managed to come up with a decent scoreline which thankfully pushed us through to the semis.

“You have got to play the best to win it and New Zealand are traditionally the best in the world. All the boys are really looking forward to this one and we are going to have to up our game another level and I’m sure they are going to have to up their game to face us as well and I’m sure it will be a good test and one we are looking forward to.

England try scorer Ollie Devoto: “It was really good, we said we needed to do a job and get as many points as possible and I thought the team went really well at times, credit to the USA, they challenged us and forced a few errors here and there but on the whole it was really really pleasing.

“It’s going to be a huge experience [against New Zealand] and I can’t wait, if I am lucky enough to be involved it would be fantastic. We are going into this game confident and we ran South Africa close and we have got it all to play for deserve to be where we are in the top four.”

POOL B


New Zealand captain Ardie Savea: "We thought we had them, especially early in that second half. We knew that the Irish boys, they never give up and they would just keep coming at us and we were lucky to get away with that win. We took that as a quarter-final and we are just happy to be in finals footy.

"Those Irish boys, they love their scrummaging and they proved a point in this competition against us especially. We have got a lot of work to do if we want to go the next step in the semi-finals."

Ireland captain Luke McGrath: "I think to be honest, a lot of our guys hadn't played against New Zealand before and we just threw the kitchen sink at them and you saw that. I think discipline cost us a little bit, to be honest it's a very tough one to take but I am so proud of the lads."

Ireland coach Mike Ruddock: "Every loss is tough to take when you are a coach, you want to win every game. That was a tough battle against quality opposition of course but I am proud of my team, I thought my players were fantastic. The patch after half-time, we were a man down and that was really the crucial time for us in terms of losing that control on the game. New Zealand ran in a couple of tries there.

"You have got to give our guys a huge credit, particularly to Luke as captain to rally his troops the way he did, get them back on track, we introduced some fresh blood and we worked hard, got back into the game and took it right down to the wire. We might not have won the game, but I think we won a lot of respect from a lot of people watching the game and a lot of teams watching the way we went toe to toe with a pretty formidable team. Probably that yellow card was a defining moment for us, you can't really give the All Blacks that sort of time and space, and perhaps expect to win the game, even though we got very close.

"Wherever we are [in the rankings] this team will pick itself up and get on and play the next game. As disappointed as we are we can't dwell too much on it, we have got to learn from what happened last season to our team in South Africa. They lost one game and went on and won a few others and finished with a very respectable account of themselves in the tournament and that is what we have got to try and do."

Australia captain Curtis Browning: "We have said before it is good to come out with a bonus point win, it is easy to drop off after two losses in a row, but it shows the mentality of the boys to come away with the win. The effort from the boys the whole tournament has been great, you can't fault that one bit, it was the same again tonight and they really worked hard as a whole eight and as whole 15 and it was good impact off the bench. Everyone works hard for each other and you can't fault the effort of the boys and the pride they have in the jersey, so it is a good win.

Australian coach Adrian Thompson: "The only game we probably haven't played up to our expectations was the first one, against Ireland, but the Irish showed tonight they are obviously a very good team and we were excellent against New Zealand and rewarded tonight and looking forward to moving on.

"We finished eighth last year so we want to do better. It is an exciting pool, I think it is Ireland, France, ourselves and Argentina, so that is going to be a fantastic pool, great opposition and lots to look forward to."

Fiji captain Esikia Macu: "I thank the boys for their team effort on their field, a couple of things we had worked on before we came for the match with Australia. In the first half we dropped some balls and in the second half we tried to manage them but they dominated us on rucks and lineouts."

POOL C

Wales captain Ellis Jenkins: "The boys are ecstatic, I have never been in a game that physical with that many injuries, the only word I can use to describe it is brutal. We spoke before the game about how tough it was going to be and how deep we would have to dig and I think we had to dig a lot deeper than we expected and to grind out the victory at the end in the manner that we did was credit to all the boys in that changing room.

"There is quite a big wind here, we used the wind really well and they did too and they came back in the second half but the lads held on and we are ecstatic with the win. The work rate from the boys was just outstanding and what a feeling to win the game like that. It will be another huge game in five days, whoever we get it is going to be a really hard game, really tough."

Wales coach Danny Wilson: "I think it was achieved with a huge amount of character, first half we played some good rugby and put ourselves in a good position. We dropped off that a little bit in the second half and then we had a series of injuries that left us really exposed, two second rows off the field which left our lineout very exposed, we didn't have any lineout jumpers so we were struggling to keep possession, but we did enough to hold on and the guys showed an enormous amount of character, defended very, very well and did enough to get the win. Hoefully if all our boys can recover we can gain good confidence moving forward to the semi-final.

"I would say no [preference of a semi-final opponent], whoever. I think we are really pleased to have achieved the goal of making the semi-final which was our goal before the tournament began, and now we will find who we are playing and we will prepare the best we can, get our boys fit and we will look forward to whoever it is and just be pleased and looking forward to a World Cup semi-final."

Argentina captain Felipe Ezcurra:
"I think that in the first half they were not superior, we made a lot of mistakes and they scored because of this, they scored from our mistakes."

Scotland coach Sean Lineen: "Very exciting for the neutral but not for the Scotland coach. We made it very difficult for ourselves, lots of mistakes, lots of unforced errors. We knew the Samoans were very strong running, and they caused us problems around the fringes, they scored five tries around the fringes. We couldn't get out of our half, we made lots of silly errors. We hung in there to win and the boys showed character at the end, they defended really well, we also kicked our goal that mattered but we should have been out of sight a lot earlier than that, being ahead and then letting them back into the game with some silly kicks out on the full or being charged down and just not executing certain parts of our play properly so from that point of view very disappointing."

Scotland captain Jonny Gray: "We are happy with the win but we are disappointed with the way we played. We put a lot of unforced errors on ourselves and credit to Samoa they took advantage, but a win is a win."