Aussies win junior rugby Word Cup opener

Australia have started the Under-20s rugby world championship with a hard-fought victory over Samoa that included skipper Andrew Kellaway setting a try-scoring record.

Kellaway’s late five-pointer sealed Australia’s 34-22 win in the Italian city of Parma on Tuesday and made the Waratahs squad member the leading U-20s championship try-scorer in the eight-year history of the tournament.

Melbourne Rebels fullback Jonah Placid crossed for two tries, flanker Michael Gunn one and five-eighth Andrew Deegan’s try and goal-kicking bagged him 14 points.

Australia’s next match is against hosts Italy on Saturday (Sunday 0430 AEST).

In other matches, nine different New Zealand players scored tries in a 68-10 win over Scotland.

Blues’ Super Rugby pair Akira Ioane and Tevita Li were standouts in a bright New Zealand performance as they overcame an early 10-3 deficit to score three tries and lead 27-10 at halftime.

The floodgates opened after the break as New Zealand ran in six more tries, with their speedy backline taking advantage of a dominant performance up front.

Auckland five-eighth Mitchell Hunt kicked 10 from 12 shots at goal in a 28-point haul.

His try was one of several long-range efforts and one of numerous breaks sparked by the power and speed of flanker Ioane or winger Li.

Both Super Rugby players crossed in the first half, along with fullback George Bridge, while the second-half tries went to Hunt, No.8 Blake Gibson, flanker Mitchell Karpik, centre Jack Goodhue, lock Geoffrey Cridge, and inside centre TJ Faiane.

New Zealand’s next game is in Calvisano on Saturday against Argentina, who lost 18-16 to Ireland.

Defending champions England also crossed nine times in beating Japan 59-7 while last year’s beaten finalists South Africa pulled away 33-5 against Italy.

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