Rugby: Round two promises to be tighter

By Campbell Burnes

The second round of the Junior World Championship promises much excitement. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The second round of the Junior World Championship promises much excitement. Photo / Brett Phibbs

You are guaranteed to see much tighter Junior World Championship games in today's second round.

The "curtainraiser" to the New Zealand-South Africa fixture in Albany pits the defending champions England against Australia, who beat Argentina on Monday. An Australian victory there would blow Pool A wide open. England have been engaging in a friendly inter-squad dropkicking competition, but a late pot may not go amiss to clinch the points here.

The Argentina-Italy game appeals as a potentially close one. Italy, the 2013 Junior World Trophy winner, will be seeking to bounce back from a hiding by England in round one.

Scotland and Samoa have both targeted their Pool C game in Pukekohe, where Scotland coach Sean Lineen used to do his thing for Counties in the 1980s.

France will want to build on a stilted, but merited narrow victory over Ireland on day one when they play Fiji, but the pick of the Pukekohe matches will be the Pool B showdown between Wales and Ireland.

Wales coach Byron Hayward faces off against his Ireland counterpart and the man who coached him in Wales A, Mike Ruddock.

Hayward has made three changes as he seeks to go 2-0 and set up a crunch Tuesday encounter with France.


Today's games

ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe
Pool C: Scotland v Samoa, 1.35pm
Pool B: France v Fiji, 3.35pm
Pool B: Wales v Ireland, 5.35pm

QBE Stadium, Albany
Pool A: Argentina v Italy, 3.35pm
Pool A: England v Australia, 5.35pm
Pool C: NZ v South Africa, 7.35pm

- NZ Herald

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