JWC 2012 - Day one reaction

(IRB.COM) Monday 4 June 2012
JWC 2012 - Day one reaction
Argentina caused the second upset of day one by beating France - Photo: Image SA

We bring you some reaction from the first day of the IRB Junior World Championship 2012, which yielded upsets wins for Ireland and Argentina.


South Africa coach Dawie Theron: “This is the last thing that we expected, we thought home ground advantage and this is the unthinkable but is has happened. We really got to go back now and really work hard to get the honour back.”

“Ireland played well, for sure, they had a good kicking game and a good set piece and in the end they used their opportunities.  They got two tries from charge downs but obviously I think they worked on that and that for them was a point of difference that they really concentrated on. In the end I thought we scrummed well, at times we mauled very well, but on the night not good enough.”

Ireland captain Niall Scannell: "We worked very hard and believed in it. The South Africans put a lot of pressure on us but we came out all right. It was a very physical game. Our focus was on the tackle and to aim at those knees and ankles. Brilliant commitment by the team."

South Africa captain Wian Liebenberg: "Definitely not the result we wanted. I think we didn't want to play catch up rugby but they played well, put the pressure on us and made us play in our half and that was not what we wanted to do. We can come back definitely, we will keep our heads up and come back fighting against Italy."

France coach Didier Retiere: "We were up against a very good Argentine team that never let go, that fought throughout the whole match to try and stay in the game. On the physical side they were very strong, the players were quickly put under pressure and a little at a time we lost our structures. We stuttered a bit and didn't make use of some of the balls that could have created opportunities. It didn't go well."

"Yes, it's bad, the JWC is over for him (second row Bastien Chalureau) as he tore his ACL and he's is going to be replaced very quickly. It was a hard hit for the team as he's a leader and a fighter, but unfortunately this is sport."

Argentina flanker Pablo Matera: "In the first half we gave away too many penalties, we were very indisciplined but then we started playing our game, we played our way and we did it. It's a team effort, we made it because in every minute we knew this game was ours, that we could win it and that is the result."

New Zealand coach Rob Penney: "I’m pretty happy with it (the performance). We probably didn’t look after the ball as well as we would have liked, we turned over a little bit of possession when we had opportunities and some of our execution wasn’t as clinical as we would like, but you've got to give credit to the Samoa boys also who came out and hit us pretty hard on occasion and put us under a bit of pressure, so all in all reasonably satisfied.

“They (Wales) will be a brutal side, a side that’s desperately keen to do well given their history and the pride they have in their own jersey, and they won’t have fond memories of the game last year when the Junior All Blacks did a great job against the Welsh team. They'll be wanting to rectify that and we are going to need to be really up for that one, it’s certainly one that’s earmarked as a brutal encounter for us.”

New Zealand co-captain Bryn Hall: "The boys started very well and before the game that first 20 minutes were really important for us and I think we scored four or five tries off that. In saying that there were a couple of periods where I was a bit sloppy, so hopefully just getting that right and hopefully go good from there.

"I guess it could be difficult for some teams (to play for 80 minutes with a big lead), but I like to think that it’s not for us, we kind of want to keep it going and keep it going, so that four to five tries we scored we obviously want to try and maintain it. Unfortunately sometimes it didn’t happen, but we'll definitely work on that in our next couple of trainings coming up.

"(For next time we need to improve) just being strong at the ruck. I think a couple of times there were opportunities where they counter-rucked us so I guess staying strong in those rucks. I guess just keeping the foot on the floor and keep going so, like I said before, the four to five tries we scored and then there were periods where we let off, so playing really consistent for the whole match."

England captain Chris Walker: "It was a lot tougher out there than the score suggested, it was a tough game. The Italians were always physical and kind of in your face. We worked hard for the victory and I think the score doesn't really reflect the game, it was a tough battle out there today. We are quite pleased (with our defence), there's a lot to work on out there and for the next game we'll set even higher goals. I think the scoreline is good is good obviously but there a lot of things we can draw on and work on.
"They're all tough games. We played Ireland in the last game of the Six Nations and it was another physical battle so now tomorrow we have to get our recovery done and look forward to Ireland."

Italy captain Giovanni Maistri: "We knew it was going to be a tough game, we knew England already form the SIx Nations. Unfortunately we didn't manage to maintain high standards of play thoughout the match. I don't think there was a better half for us, we managed to score a try at the beginning but then we weren't able to keep up in defence or in attack. In four days we'll face South Africa who are very hard to play against at home, but we'll try our best to keep our heads high."

Wales captain Cory Hill: "Obviously we came here to get a win in our first game. We've done that with a bonus point so the boys are very happy. We didn't expect Fiji to be so strong but we weathered the storm, stuck to our game plan and then eventually punished them. He (the coach) told us at 12-3 we were still in the game, you can't expect to have things go your way for 80 minutes, but we got it together and finished on high really. Fiji are always physical, but we are also a physical group and we believe in each other."

Wales coach Danny Wilson: "A few (harsh words were spoken at half time). The effort was there by the boys, it always is, but we needed to implement the right game plan against whatever opposition you play against. We spoke about our game plan at half time, if Fiji turn you around they are very dangerous so we went for more field position and focused on the set pieces on lineout drives and scrums and suffocated them.

"We need to improve quite considerably in a couple of areas and then give it a good go against New Zealand."

Australia captain Liam Gill: "Certainly happy, we have come away with the five points. There's a lot to work on as it's round one, but I think our structures, our work ethic and our intensity were there today. It gives us a great deal of structure and a great base to work on for the next two rounds. Of course it'll keep
getting harder and harder but I think that as a stepping stone that was a great performance.

"Argentina are certainly tough. We won't really know what to expect but if we go on with the same attitude and the same intensity we should hopefully be all right."

Scotland coach Peter Wright: "When we saw the draw it was always going to be a tough match, we've played them before. They never disappont us with how physical they are and they play some fantastic rugby. They got off to a dream start, 41 seconds and they scored a try, that was disappointing. Our bad bits were really disappointing, we had some good bits, our second try we scored I think was  a fantastic try by Jamie Farndale. We've got bits and pieces we've got to work on, but we were brutally honest with ourselves and we knew this was going to be a tough game for us. Now we're looking at France and Argentina and we can probably compete better against them than against Australia.
"We played against France in the Six Nations and it was a good game, it was pretty close. It'll be tough, there are no easy games in the World Cup and we've got to make sure we give it the best shot and come off the pitch pleased with our performance. That's the key, if you come off having done everything you possibly could and the result was one way or another, it's fair enough ... at least you've played your best."