New Zealand Wins Under-20 Title

New Zealand claimed its fifth World Rugby Under-20 Championship title after beating England 21-16 in a nail biting affair in Italy on Saturday.  The New Zealanders wer the first team onto a meaningful attack but were penalised for holding on in the ruck as England got numbers to the ruck.  An excellent break by Max Clarke saw him score the first try as Rory Jennings made no mistake with the conversion.

Otere Black slotted over a penalty in the eighth minute to put the Baby Blacks on the board.  The English extended their lead through another penalty by Jennings.  Substitute, Vincent Tavae-Aso showed great strength to score in the corner to bring them within two points.

Black converted another penalty four minutes before the break to hand them an 11-10 lead going into half-time.  Akira Ioane opened the scoring of the second half as he forced his way over to score as Black made no mistake with the conversion.  Thereafter, Ioane was sent to the bin for what was deemed to be a tackle with no arms.

Piers O’Conor seemed certain to have scored for England in the 51st minute, only for his try to be disallowed due to an offside.  England continued to dominate as Jennings slotted over a penalty in the 54th minute to bring them within two points.  Black slotted over a crucial penalty as it proved to be the final points of the match to secure a 21-16 win over England.

Photo credit: Massimiliano Pratelli/Fotosportit