ACT 20s make their mark at nationals

The ACT Under 20’s have gone down narrowly to a big Western Australian rep side despite outscoring their opponents three tries to two in Adelaide on Day 3 of the national tournament.

With spots in the Combined States team up for grabs, the ACT side got off to a blistering start against Victoria on Saturday cleaning the Southerners up 22-13. But the young Brumbies couldn’t replicate that win on Monday, falling just short to West Australia 27-17.

Program coordinator Russell Ingram said the ACT side would regroup as they looked to finish the tournament strongly over the unbeaten South Australian’s this Wednesday.

“They were a big, physical side who controlled the game a little bit better than us and deserved to get the win,” Ingram said of the West Australians on Monday.

“In saying that we were certainly very happy with how the boys played, particularly that they were able to outscore them three tries to two.

“The coaches and I are expecting us to get a good representation in that Combined States team. From what we’ve seen there are certainly several players capable of giving that side a crack so we’re looking forward to that announcement.

“South Australia, to this point are undefeated. So a good win over them on Wednesday will only improve the situation for our guys in terms of being picked for higher honours.”

The ACT Under20s side is littered with quality, including prolific aged-grade Australian representative Tom Staniforth and schoolboys star Connal McInerney, who have led the way for the ACT during the tournament.

Adding to the positive turnout of the ACT 20s side has been the success of the ACT’s Junior Gold Cup sides – the Under 15’s belting South Australia 90-0 and the 17’s 43-17.

The Under 20s face South Australia on Wednesday with the Combined States team to be announced shortly after the tournament concludes.

ACT 22 (Giltrap, Staniforth, Knight tries; Giltrap 2 cons, pen) bt Victoria 13.

Western Australia 27 bt ACT 17 (Penders, O’Neill, Knight tires; Knight con).