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Big hitters record victories in U20 champs

ROUND ONE WRAP: England put in an exceptional second-half performance while France opened their title defence with a resounding win over Spain in the Under-20 World Championships in Cape Town.


Argentina started like a house on fire at the Athlone Stadium and seemed to have the upper hand in the opening quarter of the match – which they justified when scrumhalf Genaro Podesta crashed over for the opening score in the 20th minute.

His try was followed up by flank Juan Penoucos 10 minutes later with both tries being converted by flyhalf Santino di Lucca to give them a 14-point lead.

England struck back when the star of the show- wing Jack Bracken went over for his first of three tries in the match in the 35th minute and fullback Ben Redshaw crashed over in the 39th minute.

Inside centre Sean Kerr converted both tries to have the match level at 14-all at half-time.

England picked up the tempo in the second stanza with tries by prop Billy Sela and flank Henry Pollock before Argentina lock Efrain Elias crashed over the line to stay in touch which was converted by replacement flyhalf Facundo Rodriguez.

England lock Junior K’Poku was yellow-carded for a cynical offence in the same passage of play that led to the Elias try.


Despite the yellow card, England went on to seal the deal when Jack Bracken scored two tries within two minutes of which one included a spectacular solo effort to earn England a solid 40-21 win.

In the other match at Cape Town Stadium, France opened their title defence with a 49-12 win over Spain.

Within three minutes Axel Desperes-Rigou opened the scoring for France with hooker Branabé Massa and Flank Geoffrey Malaterre scoring a brace each in the match.

Spain fought hard and bravely and got on the scoreboard twice with tries to Diego Gonzalez Blanco and Julien Burguillos in the second half of which Gonzalez Blanco’s try was converted by Gonzalo Otamendi.


Whilst pleased with the bonus-point win, France head coach Sebastien Calvet and his management group know they have to step up their game before their next clash against New Zealand at the Danie Craven Stadium this Thursday.

“It’s enough,” he said. “If we want to win this competition, we need to play better. If we play like today, we won’t win.”

Spain, new to the competition after getting promoted after winning the U20 trophy against Kenya, didn’t make life easy for the defending champions.

They disrupted Massa’s lineout throwing which led to him botching two of his first three throws.

Spain also held their own come scrum time before France slowly started to assert their dominance as the first half progressed.

They made a strong start from the offset but didn’t have the precision to finish their chances and got punished by a powerful France outfit.

Spain did well to stay in the fight for the most part but the game eventually got away from them as France opened their account with a solid win ahead of their big clash against New Zealand this Thursday.

Ireland dismantle Italy

Berman stars as Ireland made a statement to shrug off fellow U20 Six Nations opponents Italy at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

Hooker Danny Sheahan opened the try-scoring account for Ireland in the third minute.

Italy struck back soon after when wing Lorenzo Elettri went over for the try which was converted by flyhalf Martino Pucciariello who also slotted a penalty three minutes later to extend Italy’s lead.

It wasn’t long after that Ireland struck back through a try by No.8 Luke Murphy and soon after another one by captain Evan O’Connell which both were converted by flyhalf Jack Murphy.

Ireland inside centre Sam Berman dotted down for the first of his hat-trick in the 27th minute which Murphy converted.

Berman struck again just before halftime to get his second try of the day.

Ireland held a commanding 31-10 lead at half-time and their second half and had the worst possible start to the second half when Sean Edogbo was yellow carded.

Italy soon struck back with a try by flank Luca Bellucci but Berman completed his hat-trick four minutes after in which the same phase try scorer Bellucci was yellow carded.

From there onwards it was all Ireland despite a yellow card to prop Jacob Boyd in the 57th minute – with tries to Finn Treacy and replacement Sean Naughton.

Ireland won a scrum penalty at the end of the match which Naughton kicked over to end the clash with a substantial points difference.

Australia survives plucky Georgia

In what was a tight affair at the Athlone Stadium, Australia fought back to claim a hard-earned 35-11 win against Georgia.

Georgia drew first blood through flank Luca Suluashvili’s try.

Flyhalf Harry McLaughlin-Phillips got Australia on the board with a penalty but then Australia suffered a hammer blow when lock Harvey Cordukes was red-carded for foul play in the 26th minute.

Flyhalf Luca Tsirekidze extended Georgia’s lead with a penalty which was cancelled out 10 minutes later just before half-time when Harry McLaughlin-Phillips responded with his own.

Georgia got the first points of the second half which would also be their last of the match through Tsirekidze – and then the floodgates opened.

Two tries by Staniforth with Leahy, Ieli, and McLeod also getting over the line saw Australia end up getting a convincing, but hard-fought victory in the end.

New Zealand survive late Wales onslaught

New Zealand will breathe a sigh of relief as they survived a late comeback to emerge as 41-34 winners at the Athlone Stadium.

The six-time champions of the U20 tournament had a fast start – running in three tries through Dylan Pledger, Rico Simpson and a penalty try which saw Osain Thomas being yellow carded in the process.

Wales stayed in touch with scores by Huw Anderson and a penalty by Harry Wilde.

New Zealand scored in the 35th minute again through Xavi Taele but Wales struck back after the half-time hooter with a try by Louie Hennessey.

Taele scored his second of the match after half time to give New Zealand some breathing space and that lead got stretched further when Tai Cribb went over to give New Zealand a 23 point cushion after the conversion by Rico Simpson.

Wales struck back as Hennessey also scored his second of the match which Wilde converted but then almost immediately after the restart Morgan Morse got yellow carded for a tip tackle on Simpson.

The final nail in the coffin for Wales came when Xavier Tito-Harris made a break and passed to Lolofie and got it back to get the score that would seal the result for New Zealand.

Wales earned two valuable bonus points with debutant Steffan Emanuel and Page who dotted down in the dying moments of the match.

England v Argentina, 40-21


For England:
Tries: Bracken 3, Redshaw, Sela, Pollock
Cons: Kerr 5

For Argentina:

Tries: Podesta, Penoucos, Elias
Cons: Di Lucca 2, Rodriguez


England: 15 Ben Redshaw, 14 Jack Bracken, 13 Oli Spencer, 12 Sean Kerr, 11 Alex Wills, 10 Josh Bellamy, 9 Ollie Allan, 8 Nathan Michelow, 7 Henry Pollock, 6 Finn Carnduff (captain), 5 Junior Kpoku, 4 Joe Bailey, 3 Billy Sela, 2 Craig Wright, 1 Asher Opoku-Fordjour
Replacements: 16 James Isaacs, 17 Cameron Miell, 18 Afolabi Fasogbon, 19 Olamide Sodeke, 20 Kane James, 21 Lucas Friday, 22 Benjamin Coen, 23 Ioan Jones.

Argentina: 15 Benjamin Elizalde, 14 Timotea Silva, 13 Tomas Bocco, 12 Faustino Sanchez Valarolo, 11 Franco Rossetto, 10 Santino Di Lucca, 9 Genaro Podesta, 8 Juan Pedro Bernasconi, 7 Santos Fernansez de Oliveira, 6 Juan Penoucos, 5 Alvaro Garcia Iandolino, 4 Efrain Elias (captain), 3 Tomas Rapetti, 2 Juan Manuel Vivas, 1 Diego Correa.
Replacements: 16 Juan Greising Revol, 17 Joaquin Yakiche, 18 Gael Galvan, 19 Ignacio Torrado, 20 Agustin Sareelli, 21 Tomas Di Biase, 22 Facundo Rodriguez, 23 Gregorio Perez Pardo.

Referee: Adam Jones
Assistant referees: Sam Grove-White, AJ Jacobs
TMO: Ben Whitehouse

France v Spain, 49-12


Tries: Massa 2, Malaterre 2, Desperes, Brau-Boirie, penalty try
Cons: Reus 6

For Spain:

Tries: Diego Gonzalez, Burguillos
Cons: Otamendi

France: 15 Axel Desperes, 14 Mathis Ferte, 13 Fabien Brau-Boirie, 12 Mathys Belaubre, 11 Hoani Bosmorin, 10 Hugo Reaus, 9 Leo Carbonneau, 8 Brent Liufau, 7 Geoffrey Malaterre, 6 Joe Quere Karaba, 5 Charles Kante Samba, 4 Antonin Corso, 3 Zinedine Aouad, 2 Barnabe Massa, 1 Lino Julien.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Lacombre, 17 Lorencio Boyer Gallardo, 18 Thomas Duchene, 19 Sialevailea Tolofua, 20 Alexis Caumel, 21 Thomas Souverbie, 22 Nathan Bollengier, 23 Xan Mousques.

Spain: 15 Lucien Richardis, 14 Julien Burguillos, 13 Hugo Pichardie, 12, Alberto Carmona, 11 Javier Guillermo, 10 Gonzalo Otamendi, 9 Nicolas Infer, 8 Jokin Zolezzi, 7 Pablo Guirao, 6 Nicolas Moleti, 5 Manex Ariceta (captain), 4 Martin Serrano, 3 Guido Reyes, 2 Diego Gonzalez, 1 Hugo Gonzalez.
Replacements: 16 David Gallego, 17 Alberto Gomez, 18 Aniol Franch, 19 Adam LLinares, 20 Valentino Rizzo, 21 Javi Lopez de Haro, 22 Unax Zuriarrain, 23 Gabriel Rocaries.

Referee: Federico Vedovelli
Assistant referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Paul Mente
TMO: Matteo Liperini

Ireland v Italy, 55-15


For Ireland:
Tries: Treacy, O’Connell, Murphy, Sheahan, Naughton, Berman 3
Cons: Murphy 3, Naughton 3
Pens: Naughton

For Italy: 
Tries: Elettri, Bellucci
Cons: Martino, Pucciariello
Pens: Martino, Pucciariello


Ireland: 15 Ben O’Connor, 14 Davy Colbert, 13 Finn Treacy, 12 Sam Berman, 11 Hugo McLaughlin, 10 Jack Murphy, 9 Oliver Coffey, 8 Luke Murphy, 7 Max Flynn, 6 Sean Edogbo, 5 Evan O’Connell (captain), 4 Alan Spicer, 3 Patreece Bell, 2 Danny Sheahan, 1 Jacob Boyd.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Smyth, 17 Emmet Calvey, 18 Andrew Sparrow, 19 James McKillop, 20 Bryn Ward, 21 Jake O’Riordan, 22 Sean Naughton, 23 Hugh Gavin.

Italy: 15 Mirko Belloni, 14 Marco Scalabrin, 13 Federico Zanandrea, 12 Nicola Bozzo, 11 Lorenzo Elettri, 10 Martino Pucciariello, 9 Mattia Jimenez, 8 Jacopo Botturi (captain), 7 Luca Bellucci, 6 Cesare Zucconi, 5 Giacomo Milano, 4 Mattia Midena, 3 Davide Ascari, 2 Nicholas Gasperini, 1 Sergio Pelliccioli.
Replacements: 16 Valerio Siciliano, 17 Francesco Gentile, 18 Federico Pisani, 19 Tommaso Redondi, 20 Nelson Casartelli, 21 Lorenzo Casilio, 22 Simone Brisighella, 23 Patrick de Villiers.

Referee: Saba Abulashvili
Assistant referees: Reuben Keane, Stephan Geldenhuys
TMO: Mike Adamso

Australia v Georgia, 35-11


For Australia:
Tries: McLeod, Ieli, Leahy, Staniforth 2
Cons: McLaughlin-Phillips 2
Pens: McLaughlin-Phillips 2

For Georgia: 
Tries: Suluashvili
Pens: Tsirekidze 2

Australia: 15 Shane Wilcox, 14 Ronan Leahy, 13 Kadin Pritchard, 12 Jarrah McLeod, 11 Archie Saunders, 10 Harry McLaughlin-Phillips, 9 Dan Nelson, 8 Jack Harley, 7 Dane Sawers, 6 Aden Ekanayake, 5 Harvey Cordukes, 4 Toby Macpherson (captain), 3 Nick Bloomfield, 2 Bryn Edwards, 1 Jack Barrett.
Replacements: 16 Ottavio Tuipulotu, 17 Lington Ieli, 18 Tevita Alatini, 19 Eamon Doyle, 20 Ben Di Staso, 21 Hwi Sharples, 22 Joe Dillon, 23 Angus Staniforth.

Georgia: O Metreveli, 14 L Khorbaladze, 13 L Kobauri, 12 G Khaindrava, 11 T Burtikashvili, 10 L Tsirekidze, 9 G Spanderashvili, 8 N Lomidze (captain), 7 A Dvali, 6 L Suluashvili, 5 M Tskhadadze, 4 D Lagvilava, 3 D Mchedlidze, T Tchamiashvili, 1 L Ungiadze.
Replacements: 16 M Khakubia, 17 L Kotorashvili, 18 D Mchedlishvili, 19 T Tsulukidze, 20 T Ghaniashvili, 21 M Kachlavashvili, 22 L Takaishvili, 23 N Kevkhishvili.

Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant referees: Sam Grove-White, Takehito Namekwa
TMO: Ian Tempest

Wales v New Zealand, 34-41


For Wales:
Tries:Steffan Emanuel, Huw Anderson, Macs Page, Louie Hennessey 2
Cons: Wilde, Ford 2
Pens: Wilde

For New Zealand:
Tries: Dylan Pledger, Xavier Tito-Harris, Tai Cribb, Xavi Taele 2, penalty try
Cons: Simpson 3
Pens: Simpson


Wales: 15 Huw Anderson, 14 Harry Rees-Weldon, 13 Louie Hennessey, 12 Macs Page, 11 Aidan Boshoff, 10 Harri Wilde, 9 Ieuan Davies, 8 Morgan Morse, 7 Lucas de la Rua, 6 Ryan Woodman (captain), 5 Osian Thomas, 4 Jonny Green, 3 Sam Scott, 2 Isaac Young, 1 Josh Morse.
Replacement: 16 Harry Thomas, 17 Jordan Morris, 18 Kian Hire, 19 Nick Thomas, 20 Harry Beddall, 21 Lucca Setaro, 22 Harri Ford, 23 Steffan Emanuel.

New Zealand: 15 Sam Coles, 14 Frank Vaenuku, 13 Aki Tuivailala, 12 Xavi Taele, 11 Stanley Solomon, 10 Rico Simpson, 9 Dylan Pledger, 8 Johnny Lee, 7 Matt Lowe, 6 Tai Cribb, 5 Liam Jack, Tom Allen, 3 Josh Smith, 2 Vernon Bason, 1 Will Martin.
Replacements: 16 A-One Lolofie, 17 Sika Pole, 18 Logan Wallace, 19 Cameron Christie, 20 Jeremiah Avei-Collins, 21 Copper Grant, 22 Cooper Grant, 23 Xavier Tito-Harris.

Referee: Morne Ferreira
Assistant referees: Takehito Namekwa, Grffin Colby
TMO: Mark Patton

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