Defending champions New Zealand ran out 30-10 winners over hosts Australia in the opening match of the Oceania Rugby U20 Championship on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.
New Zealand outscored Australia by four tries to one with Jordie Barrett, the younger brother of RWC 2015 winning All Black Beauden, scoring one amid a 15-point haul.
The Kiwis, who will defend their World Rugby U20 Championship crown in England next month, scored further tries through Mason Emerson (2) and Quinten Strange.
Three of those came in the second half as New Zealand turned a slender 8-3 advantage into a comfortable victory over their trans-Tasman rivals.
Australia’s try was scored by Moses Sorovi after a good break from Angus Scott-Young, but coach Adrian Thompson was left disappointed by the performance and knows a big step up is needed for the rematch on Saturday.
“We got what we deserved tonight, that was unacceptable and we really need to turn around our attitude to playing these guys,” Thompson said.
“Our execution wasn’t great but we’ve been together for the same time as the Kiwis and they made a lot of mistakes too but at the end of the day they covered theirs up well and we didn’t do it well enough.
“There is only one and half training days left this week but that’s what these guys have to get used to if they want to be selected for the World Championships. I’ve told them that and they are going to have to come back a lot better on Saturday if they want to get selected.”
The final match of the Oceania Rugby U20 Championship takes place on Saturday at 16:00 local time and will be streamed live on www.rugby.com.au.
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