Perese's late try gives Australia win over Wales
|World Rugby Under-20 Championship|
|Australia (10) 24|
|Tries: Hutchison, Johnson-Holmes, Perese Cons: Goddard 3 Pen: Goddard|
|Wales (7) 17|
|Tries: Lewis, Blacker Cons: Robson 2 Drop: Robson|
Izaia Perese’s late try saw Australia beat Wales in their World Rugby Under-20 Championship opener in Georgia.
Wales led in the fifth minute thanks to Cameron Lewis’ try, but Henry Hutchison touched down in the corner to give Australia a 10-7 half-time lead.
Dane Blacker’s breakaway put Wales back in front, only for Harry Johnson-Holmes to plunge over for Australia.
Arwel Robson’s 77th-minute drop-goal drew Wales level, but then Perese sped clear to score the clinching try.
Despite producing an encouraging performance in parts, Wales will feel this was an opportunity missed.
After Lewis’ early try, Jason Strange’s side could have strengthened their hold on the game when Australia wing Simon Kennewell was sent to the sin bin for a tip-tackle on James Botham.
However, it was the Wallabies who reduced their deficit thanks to a Harrison Goddard penalty, before Hutchison put them ahead with a score wide on the right flank.
He almost claimed a second minutes later in the same corner, but an excellent tackle from Will Talbot-Davies forced him to spill the ball.
Wales regained the lead in fine fashion in the second half, as James Botham broke from the base of a scrum and freed Blacker to canter clear.
But just two minutes later, Australia were back in front as replacement prop Johnson-Holmes burrowed his way over the line.
Wales enjoyed long spells of possession in Australia’s 22 and appeared to have secured at least a draw with Robson’s sweetly-struck drop-goal.
But less than a minute later, Perese scythed through the Welsh defence to snatch a dramatic late win for the Wallabies.
Australia: Liam McNamara; Henry Hutchison, Izaia Perese, Sione Tuipulotu, Simon Kennewell; Hamish Stewart, Harrison Goddard; Cody Walker, Jordan Uelese, Shambeckler Vui, Ryan McCauley, Harry Hockings, Angus Scott-Young, Liam Wright, Reece Hewat (capt).
Replacements: Efi Maafu, Sama Malolo, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Lachlan Swinton, Rob Valetini, Harry Nucifora, Nick Jooste, Semisi Tupou.
Wales: Will Talbot-Davies; Owen Lane, Ioan Nicholas, Cameron Lewis, Ryan Conbeer; Arwel Robson, Dane Blacker; Rhys Carre, Ellis Shipp, Kieron Assiratti, Will Griffiths, Callum Bradbury, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Will Jones (capt), James Botham.
Replacements: Owen Hughes, Tom Mably, Scott Jenkins, Sean Moore, Aled Ward, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Ben Jones, Joe Goodchild.
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU)