7 May 2015

NZ under 20's on track for Oceania rugby title

12:37 pm on 7 May 2015

Australia and New Zealand will meet in what is effectively the final of the Oceania Rugby Junior Championship with the winner of the match to be crowned champions of the tournament.

The New Zealand under 20's rugby team performing the haka.

The New Zealand under 20's rugby team performing the haka. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Both New Zealand and Australia were made to earn their latest victories with Samoa and Japan desperate to topple their respective opponents.

The final matches of the Oceania Championship take place on Saturday kicking off with Samoa against Japan at 3pm on the Gold Coast.

Australia then take on New Zealand at 5pm (NZ time).

The New Zealand under 20s side beat Samoa 36-14 in their second match of the tournament at Bond University.

New Zealand scored five tries to Samoa's two, in what was often a brutal clash between the two nations.

New Zealand coach Scott Robertson was relieved his side were able to overcome their physical opponents, in a game he labelled tough.

"They forced us into errors, they were really aggressive and they got off the line, we couldn't get any continuity or tempo."

"When you play a team like this you have do those micro things around the breakdown really well and the game can flow from there."

"It was great to have this sort of game before we get to the World Cup."

"We're really excited (to play Australia). We'll get a new XV out for us and it gives our players to play for places and to play for a trophy."

Australia meanwhile survived a scare by a strong Japanese side.

The lead changed eight times as both sides wrestled for supremacy, but ultimately Australia was able to hold out for the win, 47-31.

The Australian coach Adrian Thompson was disappointed with the performance.

"I am relieved we had the patience to eventually win the match."

"However there were many elements of our performance that were lacklustre that we must rectify, we'll put that win behind us and get back into training."

"Full credit to Japan who really wanted the win today."

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