IRB Junior World Championship: England close in on semi-final

IRB Junior World Championship: England take giant step towards semi-finals

Last Updated: 06/06/14 9:01am

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England's Paul Hill fends against Tom Staniforth

England's Paul Hill fends against Tom Staniforth

Sky Bet

England Under-20s virtually guaranteed their place in the semi-finals of the IRB Junior World Championship with an entertaining 38-24 win over Australia.

The defending champions recovered from a slow start to score five tries to claim top spot in Pool A, with just Argentina, who have lost their two games, left to play.

Livewire scrum-half Henry Taylor and the deadly Nathan Earle crossed for two tries each, while Gus Jones also crossed. Billy Burns, whose brother Freddie will line up for the senior side against New Zealand on Saturday, added 13 points with the boot.

Australia had opened the scoring after just five minutes and they remained in the contest throughout, with Andrew Kellaway (2) and Jake McIntyre crossing for tries. McIntyre also added two conversions and a penalty, while David Horwitz slotted over a two pointer.

England, who outmuscled Australia at the breakdown, will have been particularly pleases with the performances of acting skipper Maro Itoje, Earle and Taylor.

Scotland's challenge is over after they suffered a second successive defeat, this time going down 27-18 to Samoa.

Ireland, though, remain in with a chance of qualifying after a 35-21 win over Wales. Rory Burke, Garry Ringrose (2) and Cian Kelleher scored tries for Ireland, while Ross Byrne kicked 15 points.

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