JWC 2013: Day four reaction

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 18 June 2013
 
 JWC 2013: Day four reaction
Argentina beat Australia and will finish no lower than sixth at JWC 2013 - Photo: Christelle Glement

We bring you all the reaction from day four as Wales and England book their places in the IRB Junior World Championship 2013 final in France.

SEMI-FINALS

Wales captain Ellis Jenkins: "Unbelievable, it is a bit surreal at the moment. That was tense. we knew it would take something special to break the defense and Sam has dropped that kick on the money for Ash to go over in the corner and then stepped up, nerves of steel and slotted it from the touchline. But I thought our front row were outstanding, and our front five. Absolutely outstanding.

"Everything hurts, but we played a very good game of rugby. We had our chances and we knew if we stuck to our game plan we would score tries and we did, just in the nick of time. All the talk before the game was about their back three, but I think our back three has been outstanding. It is just a really good feeling when it comes together like that."

Wales fly half and match-winner Sam Davies: "It was getting hard towards the end of the game and we were running out of options. Their 15 came into the line to make the tackle, there is no one behind and I have seen the space, dropped it into the corner for our winger who has seen that space, to finish it off. I have missed more than I have kicked in my time so it is nice to get that one over to seal that victory.

"We are over the moon, we have made history in our country, and we move on to the final and look for another big win there. It is huge, we had a lot of talk about making history, getting to that semi, and then progressing on as we have done today. No other Welsh team at Under 20 level has done that and we are really proud of ourselves."



England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie: “It’s unbelievable – having not done well last year, we spoke to the new boys coming up and said we’ve really got to go for it this year. To beat New Zealand on its own is amazing. Never come up against them, I thought they may have sneaked it at the end. But, to get into a final of a JWC in my last year is amazing.

“Wales will be a lot more up for it – we’ve seen a few of their JWC games and they’re even better than when we last played and it was a close game. We need to play even better, get our rest and bring the best game we can play. It’s awesome, knowing two teams from the Six Nations are two of the best teams of JWC 2013.”

England fly half Henry Slade: “We’ve been working toward this all year really. To put in a performance to be the first England Under 20 team to beat the Baby All Blacks was a phenomenal effort from the lads. To take nothing away from New Zealand, they threw everything at us and they’re a quality side but we just managed to hold on in the end. 

“We got off to a good start. We established a sizable lead after the first half. We managed to hold onto that in the second half,  but they made us work hard for it. With a New Zealand side you always know they’re going to come back at you and that’s exactly what they did. They’re an awesome side and to beat the All Blacks shows how far we’ve come this year. Obviously, last year was a disappointment coming seventh and this year we hope to put it right in the final

South Africa coach Dawie Theron: "We had our opportunities in the game - I think there was at least two tries that we could have scored. I think maybe the guys were a little bit anxious in the moment. And, I must lift my hat to the Welsh. They really stuck to their kicking game - they had a very, very well prepared kicking game. They kept us in the corners, we couldn’t get out of our half. In the end, the bounce of the ball made the difference.

"Nobody can accuse them of a lack of effort.  The guys really played well. We tend to forget that this is age group competitions – it’s the crop of the year. Like I said to the boys downstairs, you need a little bit of luck sometimes. The luck, with the bounce of the ball, went with the Welsh today and the next time it’ll go to us. We’re definitely not happy about losing, but we can keep our head high. And we’re going to work for the next game."

South Africa captain Ruan Steenkamp: “We gave it our best effort but on the day it was not enough. They did their homework on us and never allowed us to create a platform for our backline. The boys are extremely disappointed because we are all very proud to represent our country. We have one more match left to play and we will lift ourselves and play with pride. The defeat will hurt for a while, but we have our next match on Sunday and we will play as best as we can.”

South Africa second row and try scorer Irné Herbst: “We came back strongly in the scrums and competed well in the lineouts, but they persisted with their tactic to making us turn back with long kicks into our half. We tried our best and on the day it was unfortunately not good enough.”

New Zealand captain Ardie Savea: "Im very disappointed but that’s Footy; you win some and you lose some so extremely disappointed but you have got to move on. I think just the small errors gave away easy points for England and we have got to work on our execution more.

New Zealand head coach Chris Boyd: "I think both sides were highly motivated to do well at the end of the day. The margin of error in these tournaments is probably getting a little bit smaller and there were a number of countries who had poor tournaments last year. You will see the development of a lot of junior countries in the youth ranks over the last 4 or 5 years so I think it’s got a lot tougher competition, a lot more even competition so I think England will always look to be one of the better sides here."

FIFTH PLACE SEMI-FINALS

Argentina coach Rodolfo Ambrosio: "This will give us confidence for our final match. It is good to beat Australia, they are a powerful rugby country."

Australia captain Curtis Browning:
"It is hard to put your thing on any one thing in a game like that, it was 80 minutes and there were a lot of mistakes from us. Can't fault the effort of the boys once again but we will work forward and hopefully finish the tournament on a good note.

"No one likes losing and to find ourselves back in the same play-off game as last year is pretty gutting but hopefully we can finish off the tournament with a win."

Ireland coach Mike Ruddock: "We are disappointed to lose, we want to congratulate France on winning. But we are disappointed because we scored the only try of the game and we had the opportunity to kick our goals and win the game comfortably. Unfortunately we didn’t kick our goals on the night but the second half totally belonged to Ireland, we played more rugby." 

NINTH PLACE SEMI-FINALS

Scotland coach Sean Lineen: "The weather wasn't great, we struggled at times, America were very physical. We struggled to get through them. But I am pleased with the win, the boys stuck in, gave us some confidence and we have a big game coming against Samoa. We can go and enjoy it but important for us to look at getting a third victory which is something Scotland haven't done in this tournament and to get those three victories would be a good step forward for us."

Scotland captain Mark Bennett: "Hopefully it will be better on Sunday because USA gave us a hard game and we just want to improve. We found it hard in the first half, up against a strong defensive side. But we kept working hard and broke them down in the second half."

USA coach Jason Kelly: "The score doesn't reflect how close the game was. It is the nature of the game, but we take a lot out of it for Fiji. We thought we had a shot today so we are a little disappointed. We have to make improvements, but we will break the film down and get better over the next few days. Our final is against Fiji, so it determines how we progress for the next year, it is pretty big."

USA captain Tom Bliss: "It is a must win game for us. It defines our tournament. It is important for us and we will do all we can to prep for that game. It is a bit of a step up from the JWRT which the lads did fantastically well to win, and the level is a step up here but I am proud of the lads and how they have done here."

Samoa captain Komiti Junior Alainuuese: Hard work we have been putting in for the last few months has finally paid off. Hard games in the pool we thought we could have won. This game was tough and it went down to the 80 minutes but the guys showed a lot of heart and put it to the end.