Homer breaks record as points flow
June 9, 2010
Tom Homer busts a tackle in his record-setting performance © Getty Images
England fullback Tom Homer kicked his way into the record books while some of the tournament heavyweights racked up cricket scores in search of semi-final places on an entertaining matchday two at the IRB Junior World Championships in Argentina.
The same six winners from matchday one backed up with victories in these second pool matches, meaning there will be three showdowns to decide three of the four semi-finalists on June 13. But as bonus points and points difference will help decide which loser will also go through to the final four, teams were chasing tries until the final whistle.
England secured a dominant 36-21 Pool B victory over Ireland thanks to Homer's 21-point haul and tries to Freddie Burns (2) and Jamie Gibson.
Homer is now the highest-ever point-scorer in IRB Junior World Championships history with 112 from seven appearances, seven points more than South Africa's Francois Brummer. Homer traded early penalties with Ireland's James McKinney before Gibson drove over after England opted for a scrum ahead of a penalty shot. Andrew Conway scored for Ireland but England withstood their physicality to power ahead before Eoin Griffin scored a consolation try at the death.
Defending champions New Zealand scored the most points on the day, running in ten tries in a 77-7 thrashing of Samoa in Pool A. Julian Savea had a field day, nabbing four tries, while captain and goal-kicker Tyler Bleyendaal edged out the winger with a 21-point personal tally.
The All Blacks will face Wales in their Pool A showdown after they easily accounted for Fiji 31-3. Unfortunately for Wales, they only scored three tries in the rout, meaning their only chance of staying in the hunt for the championship is beating New Zealand on Sunday. Ben John, Steve Shingler and Morgan Allen were the try-scorers while Matthew Jarvis helped himself to 14 points.
South Africa notched the biggest win of the tournament so far, hammering Scotland 73-0. Patrick Lambie was the third player to score 21 points on the day while the tries were shared around, with doubles for Elton Jantjies, Sibusiso Sithole and Siya Kolisi.
South Africa's Pool C mini-final will be against Australia, who nearly matched their rivals' scoring feats in a 67-5 win over Tonga, although Nicholas White's five missed conversions could have changed that on another day. The scrum-half more than made up for his wayward kicking by crossing for a hat-trick of tries, and the four conversions he did land gave him a 23-point haul that made him the day's top individual scorer.
England next face France in their final Pool B fixture, where the winner will proceed to the semi-finals. France saw off Argentina 31-23 in Rosario thanks to Remi Lamerat's brace and some inaccurate kicking by the host nation. Argentina's kickers miss 22 points worth of shots at goal in their four-tries-to-three loss.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape