AIG MJAAs look to finish pool play perfect at IRB JWRT

AIG MJAAs look to finish pool play perfect at IRB JWRT

HONG KONG, China – The USA Rugby AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans are set to finish pool play at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy Tuesday, April 15, against Tonga.

The MJAAs previously defeated Hong Kong, 37-0, and Georgia, 13-12, at Hong Kong Football Club Ground, while Tonga fell to Georgia, 34-10, before adding a tally to the win column with a victory against Hong Kong, 39-16.

“We have watched Tonga play and have done some analysis on them,” MJAA Head Coach Billy Millard told IRB.com. “They play an aggressive style of rugby and have some great individual athletes.

“We are happy with our two wins but we know we need to take advantage of the position we are in. Our work rate is important. That is our foundation. We need to keep improving core skills such as lineout lifting, all breakdown elements, and our one-on-one ball-carrying and defense.

“There’ll be no changes. We’ll continue doing our own things. I have a sensational management group and they continually tweak things to enhance our performance.”

With nine points from two matches, the MJAAs sit in Pool A’s first-place position ahead of Georgia and Tonga (each with five points) and Hong Kong (zero points). Two points gained from the match against Tonga will see the MJAAs clinch a berth in the JWRT Final Saturday, April 19.

“It is important this group of players keeps improving and obviously we want to finish on top,” Millard told IRB.com. “We want to identify future senior Eagles then really support them to make the next step.

“[The Junior World Rugby Trophy] is a great competition and our whole group is thoroughly enjoying the experience. All the teams are pretty event, so it makes for a great tournament as any team can get up on the day.”

The match kicks off at 3:00 A.M. ET. Follow @irbjuniors and @HKRFU on Twitter for updates from the IRB JWRT.

USA Rugby AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | v Tonga
1. Titi Lamositele
2. Codi Jones
3. Benjamin Tarr
4. Tyler Enfield
5. Oliver Drew (C)
6. Christian Weissing
7. Ben Pinkelman
8. Hanco Germishuys
9. Erik Thompson
10. Ben Cima
11. James Vaifale
12. Gabe Farley
13. Nemia Qoro
14. Scott Dean
15. Niall Barry

USA Rugby AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | Reserves
16. Peter Malcolm
17. Val Lee-Lo
18. Max Robertson
19. Zach Bonte
20. Mike Reid
21. Joe Kelly
22. Connor Wallace-Sims

Tonga | Roster
1. Viliami Lefai
2. Feiloakitohi Tupoumalohi
3. Misinale Taukolo
4. Albert Mataele
5. Shannon Frizzell
6. Jonathan Akauola
7. Api Funaki (C)
8. Sione Hifo
9. Patelesio Oneone
10. Mosese Latu
11. Kimami Moala
12. Samiuela Tupou
13. Sunita Fihaki
14. George Stewart
15. Jarom Halo

Tonga | Reserves
16. Taimikovi Fangatua
17. Haini Moala
18. Tomakino Taufa
19. Kisina Neiufi
20. Tuihakavalu Ika
21. Semisi Tei
22. Siaosi Tonga

USA Rugby AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy
v Tonga - Tuesday, April 15 - 3:00 A.M. ET

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