- England seal third-successive victory
- Martin Haag's side play South Africa in last four
England are through to the semi-finals of the World Rugby U20 Championships as Pool B leaders after sealing a hard-earned 17-13 victory over Australia at the AJ Bell Stadium.
It was their third-successive win of the tournament after earlier victories over Italy and Scotland with England advancing as top seed.
The result sees them play South Africa in the final four with victory earned despite conceding a try in the opening minute of the game.
Australia held a seven-point lead at the break, having made a sensational start to the game, scoring after only 27 seconds.
They won turnover ball from the kick-off and recycled through their three-quarters before Jack Maddocks glided through England’s midfield to cross.
Mack Mason sent over the conversion but Harry Mallinder reduced the deficit with a penalty soon after.
The Northampton Saints back missed with another three-point attempt minutes later with a Mason penalty restoring Australia’s seven-point lead.
Mallinder kicked his second penalty of the game after 30 minutes but Mason’s three-pointer just before the break sent Australia into half-time with a 13-6 lead.
Marchant collected Mallinder’s delightful chip through the Australian defence to dot down and help inspire a second-half fightback.
For the Harlequins centre it was his second try of the World Rugby U20 Championships and sparked England into life.
Mallinder missed a penalty from inside his own half with 17 minutes remaining but made no mistake shortly after as England took the lead for the first time in the game.
He sent over his fourth penalty with six minutes remaining and England held out for a 17-13 victory.
A GREAT FEELING
"It's a great feeling, we wanted three wins," said Mallinder. "Australia battled right to the end, it was a tough challenge and credit to them.
"South Africa will be another massive challenge and we'll need to step up again for that game."
“We are delighted to get the win, it wasn’t pretty at times, but we stuck at it and got the win. We will enjoy tonight because we are through to the semi-finals and that is an achievement in itself."
Mallinder also praised the home support at the AJ Bell and said it was a squad effort to earn victory.
"The home crowd massively helped us and it’s so nice to be playing in Manchester in front of so many fans who are so passionate about the game," he said.
"There is enormous belief in the group, we didn’t have the first half we wanted and I’m just chuffed to bits with how all 23 men contributed to help us get the victory.
"At the break we talked about keeping the focus on ourselves and putting Australia under pressure and we did that. “
England will play their semi-final against South Africa at the Manchester City Academy Stadium on Monday 20 June (live on Sky Sports).
Ireland and Argentina make up the other semi-finalists.