AIG MJAAs beat Hong Kong at U20 Trophy

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Captain Hanco Germishuys scored two more tries at the World Rugby U20 Trophy Saturday and the AIG Men's Junior All-Americans earned a third bonus point in their first win of the competition, a 32-12 defeat of Hong Kong.

A strong scrum from JD Stephenson's under-20 national team kept Hong Kong from taking advantage of field position and the MJAAs also conceded just a single try during two sin-bin sessions. The MJAAs will conclude pool play at Harare Sports Club against Spain Wednesday, April 27, at 10 a.m. ET.

Stephenson swapped a few players in the starting XV from the squad that lost to Namibia in the first match of the U20 Trophy earlier in the week, and a new back line ventured through the defense in the opening minutes. Devin Lim appeared to draw a penalty with a tackle at Hong Kong's 10 in the 10th minute, but was shown a yellow for a dangerous tackle on his opposite number.

The MJAAs were first to strike following the sinning, however, with Brian Hannon breaking through the gain line in his own half in the 12th minute. The center offloaded to the in-support Travis Heer across midfield for the winger to open the scoring. The six-point try was converted by Ben Cima, playing full back rather than fly half, for an 8-0 lead.

An 18th-minute scrum from a poor Hong Kong lineout was won by the MJAAs along the 22 in front of their posts, and Hannon was penalized for getting up from the tackle. Hong Kong was able to kick to touch for a 10-meter lineout, and, after a few phases, the blind side flanker was able to dive over the try line. Hong Kong's conversion was unsuccessful for an 8-6 score just before Hannon was released from the bin.

Duncan Van Schalkwyk, fly half Saturday after starting at wing against Namibia, ran a useful line to get into the attacking half before Hong Kong turned over possession in the 24th minute, but Tyler Sousley took a ballcarrier into touch as the opposition neared the try zone.

Chance Wenglewski broke through the gain line a minute later and a series of offloads from Malon Al-Jiboori and Van Schalkwyk saw the MJAAs to the 22. Al-Jiboori got the ball back as the attack worked towards the touch line, and the lock found Germishuys in stride for a 20-meter score. Cima converted his captain's fourth try of the tournament for a 16-6 lead.

While both teams took a number of penalties in the opening frame, the MJAAs drew more whistles than their opposition, and Germishuys was shown a yellow following repeated infractions a minute before halftime. The MJAAs were forced to defend as the half wound down, and maintained the 16-6 lead at the break.

Hong Kong ended several of its own attacks with penalties and the MJAAs stole possession when the opponent neared the 22 to kill Germishuys' sinning. In one of the few scrums that did not go the MJAAs' way in the 57th minute, Hong Kong took a tap within 10 meters of the try line and the inside center received a ball on the switch to dot down in-goal.

The four-point, 16-12, game was blown wide open in the 63rd minute, when Hong Kong struggled to clear the ball out of their defensive half. A Louis Mulholland pass into touch set up Hong Kong for a lineout, and a series of penalties led to Germishuys taking a tap in front of the posts for a 24-12 lead.

A high MJAA kick from the 10 in the 69th minute bounced favorably for Mason Pedersen at midfield, where he found Al-Jiboori in space on the wing for the 32-12 final score.

The MJAAs trail their final pool opponent, Spain, by three points in the standings. With a win of at least 19 points Wednesday, the U.S. team would qualify for the championship match on Finals day, May 1, at National Sports Stadium. The final match of pool play will kick off at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, with World Rugby's live stream from Zimbabwe available on The Rugby Channel.

AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | v. Hong Kong

1. Chance Wenglewski

2. Steven Branham

3. Roman Salanoa

4. Victor Comptat

5. Malon Al-Jiboori

6. Veuki Taumefolau

7. Brennan Falcon

8. Hanco Germishuys (C)

9. Ruben de Haas

10. Duncan Van Schalkwyk

11. Travis Heer

12. Brian Hannon

13. Devin Lim

14. Tyler Sousley

15. Ben Cima

AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | Reserves

16. Ruairi Van Raalte

17. Mason Pedersen

18. Bronson Teles

19. Deven Marshall

20. Chad Sneyd

21. Louis Mulholland

22. Rodney Giles

AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | 32

Tries: Heer, Germishuys (2), Al-Jiboori

Conversions: Cima (4)

Discipline: Lim (Yellow), Germishuys (Yellow)

Hong Kong | 12

Tries: Healy, Owens

Conversions: N/A

AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | 2016 World Rugby U20 Trophy

v. Namibia - L 46-44

v. Hong Kong - W 32-12

v. Spain - Wednesday, April 27 @ 10 a.m. ET