WRAP UP: U20 World Championship - Round One

WRAP UP: U20 World Championship - Round One

The World Rugby U20 World Championship kicked off in Argentina on Tuesday.


Australia and Italy faced off in the opening Pool B game while South Africa and Scotland clashed in the Pool C opener.

New Zealand faced Georgia while hosts Argentina clashed with Wales in the second set of kicks off while the day was rounded out with Six Nations Champions, Ireland taking on England while France and Fiji faced off.



Here is our round-up of the day's action:

Australia 36-12 Italy

Having stunned New Zealand in the Oceania U20s, Australia were confident heading into their opening game against a tricky Italian side.

Italy’s scrum was Australia's biggest obstacle in the clash but the junior Wallabies fronted up and were able to come away with the victory.

Captain Fraser McReight was excellent over the ball while Australia took their chances when they came on attack.

Australia scored on of the tries of the day to end the first half-time, with Noah Lolesio slipping through a hole in his own half that lead to a try for Lachland Lonergan.

Overall it was a comfortable victory for Australia who took the lead in the 7th minute and didn't look back. Will Harris, Lachlan Lonergan (2), Triston Reilly and Noah Losiesio scoring for the Junior Wallabies while Niccolo Taddia and Jacopo Trullia scored in a strong finish for Italy in the final 5 minutes.

South Africa 43-19 Scotland

Junior Springbok scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse was in fine form scoring two tries, three conversions and a penalty goal for a personal tally of 19 points as South Africa claimed a comfortable win over Scotland.

 

An effective team display from the South Africans steered them victory, as they scored six tries to two, while the Scots were also awarded a penalty try.

The Junior Springboks chipped away at Scotland in the first half and built up a 17-12 lead at the break but it was an improved second-half performance that saw them break away in the second half, touching down four times to only once by Scotland.

 

Replacement, Sanele Nohamba scored our pick of the try of the game with a stellar sidestep to bamboozle Rory Jackson.

Francke Horn, Jaden Henrdrikse (2), JJ van der Mescht, Sanele Nohamba, Kudzwai Dube all dotted down for the South Africans while Murphy Walker and Cameron Anderson scored for Scotland who were awarded a penalty try.

Argentina 25-30 Wales

Wales survived a late Argentine surge to defy the odds and upset the host nation in their opening game of the competition.

Argentina were guilty of being far too indisciplined while Cai Evans was superb off the tee and with his open play kicking. 

The flyhalf was the standout performer for Wales landing six penalties and a conversion for a 20-point personal haul which proved to be decisive.

Scrum-half Harri Morgan produced on his promise and scored one of Wales' two tries with winger Ryan Conbeer scoring the other.

Los Pumitas ran the ball superbly but it was front ranker Francisco Minervino who scored the first try of the game with winger Rodrigo Isgro and fullback Ignacio Mendy adding to their try-scoring tally. 

Evans converted a penalty to give Wales a 8 point lead in the 73rd minute but Argentina cut that with a penalty of their own and looked to be on their way to a come from behind victory before Wales regathered the ball to end the game. 

New Zealand 45-13 Georgia

A somewhat flattering scoreline for New Zealand who well and truely tested by Georgia for about 60 minutes of the encounter. Georgia were first on the board with a penalty but it was New Zealand that crossed the try line first.

The Baby Blacks dotted down from their first real attacking opportunity resulted in a try for lock Taine Plumtree - son of Hurricanes head coach John.


Kohan Herbert scored with an aerobatic finish and a strong showing from Dallas McLeod saw him grab a brace and saw the New Zealand Under 20s lead 19-6 at the break.


Georgia got within six points of the lead when going over for the opening try of the second spell but it was one-way traffic after that point.


The New Zealand Under 20s ran in four second half tries; Leicester Faingaanuku, Quinn Tupaea, George Dyer and Jeriah Mua all crossing for five pointers.

France 36-20 Fiji

Fiji quickly nullified France's fast start after Donovan Taofifenua dotted inside the first two minutes of the encounter. Fiji flyhalf Caleb Muntz slotted two penalties to make it a one point game in a thrilling opening 15 minutes.

France hit right back with Mathieu Smaili slotting a penalty of his own before 2018 U20 Player of the Year dotted down for the defending champions following a deft chip kick by Smaili.

Fiji almost took the lead before the break with blindside flanker Taniela Ramasibana dotting down before they were denied by the TMO late on as France lead 15-13 at the break.

France showed their class as the game went on despite winger Ethan Dumortier going to the sin bin. Leo Coly and Jordan Joseph scored before the hour mark. 


Fiji mounted one final attempt to upset the champions with Ratu Waqninavatu dotting down in the 67th minute to draw within 9 points but Rayne Barke pushed it back to a 16 point as it ended 36-20.

  

Ireland 26-42 England

Ireland backed up their Grand Slam Six Nations with a clear statement of intent as they claimed a bonus point victory over a strong English side.

A somewhat subdued, yet physical first half, saw Ireland take a single point lead into the break.

 

England will rue the ill-discipline that saw them go down to 14 men on two occasions while replacement Alfie Barbeary was shown a straight red card.

England dominated at times but Ireland were ruthless scoring 4 second-half tries to England's two with Jake Flannery running a tidy shift.

Ben Healy's introduction to the game really turned the things around for the Irish as he kicked well with the ball in hand, as well as scoring a neat try soon after the red card.

The loss for England is their 3rd biggest loss and 3rd most points conceded in the Under 20 Championship.

Although the result didn't go their way, England did, however, have a few star performers on the field. Manu Vunipola was fantastic with ball in hand and also kicking to poles, while Ollie Sleightholme showed his finishing quality with two solid tries in the game.

David McCann was a standout for Ireland scoring a brace and was all over the pitch.

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