Junior Wallabies miss finals again after narrow loss to NZ
THE late injection of three Queensland Reds players wasn't enough as Australia lost to New Zealand to miss out on the World Rugby under-20 championship semi-finals.
The Junior Wallabies were surprisingly dominant up front but weren't clinical enough as they crashed to a 27-18 defeat at the tournament being played in France.
Reds trio Harry Hockings, Hamish Stewart and Jordan Petaia were cleared to join the age-group side as injury cover this week.
They made an impact, with lock Hockings part of a powerful set piece effort and Stewart an astute general in slippery conditions at five-eighth.
Trailing 17-15 at halftime and 20-18 entering the final quarter, they slipped up late as New Zealand sevens star Vilimoni Koroi created a try to Jamie Spowart.
Stewart set up Australia's first try to flanker Fraser McReight and their second was a penalty try following a series of dominant scrums.
Australia will now contest the fifth-to-eighth classification for a seventh successive time at the tournament.
Their next opponents are Wales, who they lost to 26-21 in their opening match.
The semi-finals are identical to last year, with New Zealand facing France and England against South Africa.