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Hill scores brace as England U20s beat Australia

Hill scores brace as England U20s beat Australia

Worcester Warriors flanker Ted Hill bagged a brace as England claimed a 56-33 bonus-point victory over Australia in their final pool game of the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Having lost their opening fixture of the tournament to Ireland, before beating Italy in match two, the result meant the Red Rose finished third in their pool and cannot advance to the top four.

They will next face Ireland in the fifth-place play-off on Monday in Rosario, Argentina (KO 7.30pm BST) with New Zealand and Wales making up the other half of the draw.

England raced into a 42-12 lead at the break after scoring six tries, with Northampton Saints duo Fraser Dingwall and Ollie Sleightholme opening the scoring in the first ten minutes.

Bath Rugby’s Tom de Glanville, Gloucester’s Aaron Hinkley and Hill’s brace completed the first-half scoring, with Newcastle Falcons fly-half Josh Hodge converting all six tries.

Australia crossed through Noah Lolesio and Isaac Lucas but it was a half dominated by Steve Bates’ side, who added further scores through Manu Vunipola (Saracens) and Tom Willis (Wasps).

Will Harris, Fraser McReight and Carlo Tizzano all dotted down for Australia as they closed the gap after the restart, though, securing a losing bonus point as they topped the group.

Australia, who were already assured of their semi-final place before the match kicked off, were given an early red card when Pat Tafa sent off for a high tackle inside three minutes.

From the resulting penalty, England opted to scrum and having won another penalty and a further set-piece saw Dingwall crash through Australia’s midfield for the opening try.

Soon after, there was a second try for England, Sleightholme collecting a spilled up-and-under just inside the Australia half before flying home.

Neat handling resulted in Lolesio slicing through for Australia’s first score and Will Harrison converted for 14-7, before Lucas finished off an Australia counter going over in the corner,

But Hill crashed through midway in the half to extend the lead and the flanker scored a second soon after, taking advantage of an overlap on the left wing, which Hodge converted.

De Glanville carved through from close range for a fifth England try before Hinkley crashed over just before the break and Hodge maintained his perfect record from the tee with a sixth conversion.

Vunipola found space to dart through for a seventh England try, while Harris jinked over for Australia before the hour mark.

A pick and go from Willis saw him burrow over but Australia replied with captain Fraser McReight and Tizzano, sealing a four-try bonus point.

Head coach Bates said: “I’m really pleased with the performance, it was much improved. We cleared the breakdown really well, particularly in the first half.

“We carried hard and made ground and that was the catalyst for us to create some quick ball which meant we were on the front foot.

“We used our dominance up front and looked like a team that was confident on the front foot but there were some really good performances from our lads and they will feel a lot better after that.

“I feel a lot of sympathy for Australia because we suffered two yellow and a red in our first match against Ireland and that affected the result and it was similar here.”

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