WRAP UP: U20 World Championship - Round Three

WRAP UP: U20 World Championship - Round Three

The final day of the pool stages of the World Rugby U20 Championship saw Ireland clash with Italy, with the Six Nations' Champions holding onto a slim chance of progressing to the Cup playoffs while Georgia and Scotland kicked off the first round of kick offs.

Wales and Fiji faced off while defending Champions France and hosts Argentina clashed in the second set of kick offs.

Finally, Pool C and Pool B were decided in the final two kickoffs with the Junior Springboks and Baby Blacks deciding going head to head a Pool C decider while Australia looked to top Pool B against England.


Here is our Wrap up of the day's action:

Georgia 17-12 Scotland

Georgia finally got rewarded for their efforts so far in the competition as they claimed their first win over Scotland. Georgia made South Africa and New Zealand sweat for stages of their games but were ultimately outdone by the Southern Hemisphere giants.

The Georgians were kept their high standards at the scrums and continued to dominate in that area. Scotland were quickest out the blocks scoring the opening try in the 5th minute with Ewan Ashman forcing his way over the line with Ross Thompson adding the extras.

The scoreboard remained unchanged until the break. It was then when Georgia started their comeback, making four changes after the oranges. Captian Tedo Abzhandadze got Georgia on the board with a penalty 7 minutes after the break before Ashman doubled up in the 54th minute with Thompson missing from the tee.

Abzhandadze was on the end of a nice set play to score before the hour mark as Georgia closed the gap to two points. With just 5 minutes left to play Luka Nioradze crashed over the line from an overthrown Scottish lineout to hand Georgia the lead for the first time in the game, and they did not give it up as they claimed their first win of the competition. 

Top Performers

Ioane Iashagashvili - Absolutely brilliant on the field with good runs and some serious tackles that really helped the Georgians to come out on top.

Dachi Papunashvili - Might be the youngest player on the field but played as though he was the player with the most experience. Kicking at the best times to do so and making good runs. Made one or two errors in terms of handling but wasted no time in rectifying those errors

Tedo Abzhandadze - Game changing substitution as he swung the game in Georgia's favour, could be a key player for the senior side in Japan later this year.

Italy 14-38 Ireland

Ireland had a slim chance of making the Cup playoffs in this clash with the Italians and needed a big scoreline to have a chance at making the semi-finals but were kept out by an improved Italian defence in final 20 minutes.

Ireland made it two from three with a 38-14 win over Italy u20 in round 3 of the World Rugby Under 20 Championship. For the opening 39 minutes, it was all Ireland as they ran in four tries and added a penalty for a commanding 31-0 lead.

Italy hit back with a try on the stroke of halftime to head into the break trailing 31-7. A penalty try for Italy early in the second half reduced the deficit to 17 points but Ireland responded with their fifth try to hold a 38-14 advantage heading into the final quarter of the match.

Top performers:
Ben Healy: Controlled the match with his huge boot and had some classy touches including a great flick pass to set up a try. Slotted six from six off the kicking tee to accumulate 13 points.
Alessandro Fusco: Lively throughout with a number of snipes including scoring a try.
Azur Allison and Ryan Baird: Tremendous work rate from both with some strong carries and solid hits in defence. Both were rewarded with a try from close range.

 France 21-47 Argentina

A game that really had it all, an outstanding 60 metre try from a prop, some slick backline moves and two reds cards, and that was just in first 20 minutes!

Argentina wrapped up Pool A with an incredible performance against the defending U20 Champions. Los Pumitas hit into the lead with a Joaquin de la Vega Mendia before loosehead prop Thomas Gallo ripped through the French defence to score a 60-metre blinder.

French no.8 Sacha Zegeur was deemed to have tackled de la Vega Mendia high in the build-up to the try and given his marching orders as France were reduced to 14-men for the remainder of the encounter. However, that one man advantage did not last too long as Rodrigo Isgro was guilty of the same infringement just 8 minutes later with Argentina benefitting just 7 points with the advantage. 

Juan Martin Gonzalez extended Argentina's lead before they were reduced to 13 men with Lucas Bur told to take a breather. Quentin Delord finally got France on the board before the 30th minute but Pablo Dimcheff went over from a maul to give Argentina 7-34 half time lead.

Jordan Joseph and Matthis Lebel scored to start what looked like a French revival in the second half before Los Pumitas captain Juan Pablo Castro scored to put the game beyond reach for the French with 10 minutes left to play. France picked a crucial bonus point with 5 minutes left to play as Argentina claimed the victory.

Top Performers:

Juan Pablo Castro - Incredible on defence making over 13 tackles, scored a crucial try and combined wonderfully with Geronimo Prisciantelli.

Joaquin de la Vega Mendia - Controlled the game brilliantly, kicked well, put players into gaps and was solid defensively.

Thomas Gallo - Scored an incredible try, scrummaged well and got around the park making numerous tackles and carries.

 Wales 44-28 Fiji 

 Wales Under 20s weathered a Fijian storm to edge a World Rugby U20 Championship thriller and finish the pool stages on a high.

Gareth Williams’ kept their heads to emerge victorious from a breathless encounter against a Fiji side packed full of lethal attacking weapons.

The lead changed hands four times but scores from Tommy Reffell, Dafydd Buckland and Tomi Lewis were enough for a first-half advantage.

Captain Dewi Lake cured the bonus-point as Fiji kept on coming back, but Ben Warren’s try gave Wales breathing space before Ioan Davies secured victory.

Wales will now face Ireland in the playoffs to determine who will finish fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth after their second win from three Pool A matches.

Top Performers:

Cai Evans - Another controlled and solid performance from the young flyhalf who kicked well throughout.

Simione Kuruvoli - Show off his array of skills with deft kick for Droasese's try. Passed well and kept Wales guessing.

Dewi Lake - Continues to impress, strong in the scrum, scored a try and was strong throughout.

England 56 – 33 Australia

With a red card as early as the 2nd minute, Australia were always going to be under pressure to make sure they earn themselves a bonus point victory to secure themselves a playoff spot.
While they came off second best tonight it was they never say die spirit which has now kept their hopes alive as they look to win their first Championship since inception.
The standout performer was Worcester Warriors Flanker Ted Hill who scored a brace slowed plenty of Australia’s ball. Manu Vunipola was also instrumental to his sides victory controlling play with such ease.
For the Australian side, it was their captain Fraser McReight who led from the front and his try in th 70th minute was the try that guaranteed his side a playoff spot.Furthermore, it was the Australian backline that produced the try of the game from deep within their own territory in the first half. In the 14th minute a quick lineout was taken by Sione Tui and the ball was sent to Isaac Lucas. His step out wide created an overlap and Mark Nawaqanitawase was left with space down the touch line. With the ball in two hands he managed to find the man who started the play and Isaac Lucas cruised over.

Top Performers: 

Fraser McReight: Led well from the front and even though his side lost, he scored the bonus point try that guaranteed his side a playoff spot.

Ted Hill: Scored a brace and slowed down Australias ball on numerous occasions.

Manu Vunipola: Controlled play well from the pivot and got his backline involved.

South Africa 25-17 New Zealand

The first half was a cagey affair with both teams making silly little handling errors but it was the scrum where both teams tried to assert their dominance.

It took the South African’s only seven minutes to open up the scoring after Pretorius offloaded beautifully for Isaacs who scored in the corner. The Baby Boks continued their dominance in the half and 10 minutes later lock JJ van der Mescht stole a loose ball from a NZ lineout and ran the distance to score his side’s second of the game.

The Baby Blacks had a few half chances on attack but they struggled to settle into a rhythm, although they did play against 14 men for most of the first half, as Dylan Richardson and Sibusiso Sangweni saw yellow in the half.

SA went into the break leading 19-3, after Jaden Hendrikse and Fergus Burke exchanged penalties before the buzzer.

The second half started with the South Africans on the front foot but New Zealand upped their physicality in defense which allowed them to turn the ball over often in the middle of the field.

In the 44th minute the Baby Blacks were awarded a penalty try after James Mollentze’s early tackle prevented a try. The No. 10’s action also saw himself get yellow which was his side’s third of the game. For about 30 minutes the game was a bit in limbo and both sides struggled to get any momentum, with handling errors dominating the play.

The final 10 minutes of the game was action packed, as Sanele Nohamba stretched SA lead to 22-10 but soon after Lalomilo Lalomilo scored in the corner to make it a 22-15 game. In the 78th minute, Nohamba killed the game off with a penalty conversion and that knocked New Zealand out of U20 championship.

Top performers:

JJ van der Mescht: Absolutely immense in his 51 minutes on the field, powerful carries, big hits in defence and scored an amazing try showing tremendous pace for a big man.

Baby Bok Pack: Strong drives and dominant at scrum time winning many penalties allowing SA to play in the right areas of the field and keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Leicester Faingaanuku and Etene Nanai-Seturo: Both elusive runners and dangerous with ball in hand making valuable ground for NZ.

Jaden Hendrikse: Some great tactical kicks and box kicks to keep SA in the right areas of the field.

Semi-Final Fixtures: 

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