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France crowned World Under-20 champs, SA takes bronze

FINAL DAY WRAP: France was crowned Under-20 champions after overpowering Ireland 50-14 in the World Championships final at Athlone on Friday.


France looked devastating from the outset and scored sevens tries on their way to victory and world glory as they produced a sterling second-half performance.

Tries from Fintan Gunne and John Devine saw Ireland lead 7-0 and 14-10, but scores from Mathis Ferte and Marko Gazzotti gave the French a 17-14 half-time advantage.

France turned on the style after the break with Pierre Jouvin, Nicolas Depoortere, Ferte, Lenni Nouchi and Leo Drouet crossing.

Fly-half Hugo Reus continued his fine form in the tournament by kicking six conversions and a penalty for the winners.

*South Africa ended their home tournament on a high with a 22-15 win over England in a physical third-place play-off.

The Baby Boks scored three tries to the two of England and flyhalf Jean Smith was successful with two conversion and a penalty.


The Junior Boks’ defence was superior and that laid the foundation for the win. They put in some big hits in the first half which forced England to make mistakes to take them into the lead going into half-time.

The opening try was scored by Hennie Sieberhagen, after a powerful driving maul.

The South Africans were in control in the set-pieces and this made the second try, by Corne Beets, possible.

England’s hooker Cameron Wright showcased his pace and scored a wonderful try from inside the 22.


England came out fighting in the second half but the Junior Boks showed character and commitment in their defence to keep out the English and secure the victory.

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*Japan have been relegated to the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy following a 27-45 defeat to Italy at the start of the final day.

Player of the Match, Italian centre Dewi Passarella, scored a hat-trick of tries on the trot to help him secure an 11th-place play-off for his team and cement their place in next year’s tournament.

Japan will now compete in the Under-20 Trophy in 2024 after they again failed to capitalise on territory and possession at the beginning of day five at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.

Japan had made a habit of starting matches quickly during this tournament, but it was Italy who stormed out of the blocks at Danie Craven Stadium.

Less than one minute after kick-off Passarella profited from good interplay between Simone Brisighella and Filippo Bozzoni to score the opening try.

Although Japan continued to build good possession and territory, it was Italy – back up to 15 players – who scored next when Alessandro Gesi gathered a cross-field kick, bounced out of a couple of tackles and stepped inside the covering defender.

It was a brilliant try, and although Naramoto ate into the Italian lead with a penalty five minutes later, it was an advantage they stretched further with a fourth try on the stroke of half-time. Passarella claimed it, again powering over from close range.

Italy added more tries as gaps began to open up, as Bozzoni went over before Passarella completed his hat-trick to extend his side’s lead to 45-15 and confirm their U20 Championship safety.

Japan hit back with two tries in the final five minutes, making the final score more respectable but could not save them from relegation.

*Australia finished their campaign on a high with victory in a high-scoring fifth-place play-off against Wales at Athlone Sports Stadium in Stellenbosch.

The Junior Wallabies, runners-up in 2019, started brightly and, after a dominant carry by prop Nick Bloomfield – in which Wales lost second-row Evan Hill to a shoulder injury – fast hands out wide put outside-centre Henry O’Donnell over in the right corner.

Australia nearly doubled their lead minutes later but were penalised at the breakdown with the try-line at their mercy. This allowed Wales, who had struggled for possession early on, back into the game.

Replacement second-row Mackenzie Martin had the ball ripped out of his hands as he crossed the Australia line, but then his great running line and offload opened up the defence before hooker Lewis Lloyd went over to make it 5-5.

Back came Australia, though. Second-row Toby MacPherson dived over from close range after his team had opted to kick for the corner from a penalty instead of going for goal. Then, from another attacking lineout, hooker Liam Bowron broke away from a rolling maul to make it 15-5.

But with no successful conversions, Wales were not out of it, and nearly scored with the last play of the half, only to be held up over the line.

It proved a pivotal moment. Australia started the second half as they had the first, O’Donnell again taking advantage of wave after wave of dummy runners to cruise over.

Wales responded immediately after a great pick up and finish from Llien Morgan made it a two-score game.

MacPherson bagged his second for Australia, though, sauntering through a gap against a tiring Wales defence, and the Junior Wallabies scored again straight from the kick-off, scrum-half and captain Teddy Wilson finishing off an end-to-end move.

Fly-half Jack Bowen made it try number seven just beyond the hour mark, after the Australia wingers combined superbly.

A clever kick through by Daniel Edwards put Morgan in for his second and Wales’ third try before captain Ryan Woodman added a fourth – a reward for another industrious display by the blindside flanker.

Australia weren’t finished, though, two more well-worked lineouts resulting in tries for replacement prop Marley Pearce and openside flanker Ned Slack-Smith.

Wales had the last say with a consolation score for replacement scrum-half Harri Williams.

*Fiji had secured their first win of the tournament against Italy on day four, and they clearly came into Friday full of confidence.

Ratu Kavaia Tagivetaua scored the opening try of the match in the eighth minute, emerging from a powerful driving maul to cap a fine start for Fiji.

That was as good as things got for the Pacific Islanders in the first half, however, as Argentina hit back with a fine team try that was finished off by winger Valentín Soler Filloy.

With 14 minutes left to play,  Argentina soon made sure of victory, as Player of the Match Chiavassa sniped over for his second try to help extend their lead to 43-22.

That was the way the scoreline would stay.

Italy vs Japan, 45-27


For Italy:
Tries: Passarella 3, Casilio, Bozzoni, Gesi, Odiase
Cons: Brisighella 5

For Japan:
Tries: Hayashi, Omachi, Oike, Nagashima
Cons: Naramoto, Nonaka
Pen: Naramoto


Italy: 15 Simone Brisighella, 14 Alessandro Gesi, 13 Lorenzo Elettri, 12 Dewi Passarella, 11 Filippo Bozzoni, 10 Giovanni Sante, 9 Lorenzo Casilio, 8 Jacopo Botturi, 7 David Odiase (captain), 6 Carlos Berlese, 5 Pietro Turrisi, 4 Enrico Pontarini, 3 Marcos Francesco Gallorini, 2 Nicholas Gasperini, 1 Federico Pisani.
Replacements: 16. Giovanni Quattrini, 17 Riccardo Bartolini, 18 Matteo Bernardinello, 19 Alex Mattioli, 20 Filippo Lavorenti, 21 Sebastiano Battara, 22 Matthias Leon Douglas, 23 Nicola Bozzo

Japan: 15 Yohsitaka Yazaki, 14 Renji Oike, 13 Yoshiki Omachi (captain), 12 Kengo Nonaka, 11 Kohso Muto, 10 Kanjiro Naramoto, 9 Asahi Doei, 8 Taison Mogami, 7 Tomoki Kusuda, 6 Tenta Kobayashi, 5 Kantaro Tajima, 4 Yuzuki Sasaki, 3 Riku Tomita, 2 Takashi Omoto, 1 Sena Hwang.
Replacements: 16 Kouta Nagashima, 17 Tomoki Yumbe, 18 Kosuke Sugiura, 19 Bunsuke Kurita 20 Keito Hayashi, 21 Yutaro Takahashi, 22 Taishin Ohshima, 23 Genki Ikuta

Referee: Eoghan Cross (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Luc Ramos (France), Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)

Australia vs Wales, 57-33


For Wales:
Tries: Lloyd, Woodman, Morgan 2
Cons: Edwards 3, Wilde

For Australia:
Tries: O’Donnell 2, Macpherson 2, Bowron, O’Donnell, Wilson, Bowen, Pearce, Slack-Smith
Cons: Bowen 6


Wales: 15 Harri Houston, 14 Tom Florence, 13 Louie Hennessey, 12 Bryn Bradley, 11 Llien Morgan, 10 Dan Edwards, 9 Archie Hughes, 8 Morgan Morse, 7 Lucas De La Rua, 6 Ryan Woodman (captain), 5 Jonny Green, 4 Evan Hill, 3 Kian Hire, 2 Lewis Lloyd, 1 Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths.
Replacements: 16 Lewis Morgan, 17 Louis Fletcher, 18 Tom Pritchard, 19 Mackenzie Martin, 20 Gwilym Evans, 21 Joe Westwood, 22 Harri Wilde, 23 Harri Williams.

Australia: 15 Harry McLaughlin-Phillips, 14 Tim Ryan, 13 Henry O’Donnell, 12 David Vaihu, 11 Darby Lancaster, 10 Jack Bowen, 9 Teddy Wilson (captain), 8 Leafi Heka Talataina, 7 Ned Slack-Smith, 6 Lachlan Hooper, 5 Daniel Maiava-Tapusoa, 4 Toby Macpherson, 3 Nick Bloomfield, 2 Liam Bowron, 1 Jack Barrett.
Replacements: 16 Marley Pearce, 17 Harrison Usher, 18 Trevor King, 19 Ollie McCrea, 20 John Bryant, 21 Klayton Thorn, 22 Mason Gordon, 23 Jackson Ropata.

Referee: Angus Maybe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Morne Ferreira (South Africa), Christopher Allison (South Africa)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (Italy)

Argentina vs Fiji, 43-22


For Fiji:
Tries: Basiyalo 2, Waqaicece, Tagivetaua
Cons: Basiyalo

For Argentina:
Tries: Chiavassa 2, Penalty Try, Di, Giudice, Minoyetti, Soler
Cons: Di 3


Fiji: 15 Isikeli Basiyalo, 14 Sireli Misiwini, 13 Epeli Waqaicece, 12 Pateresio Finau, 11 Manieta Vonovono, 10 Phillip Baselala, 9 Sakiusa Kama, 8 Judah Qoro Saumaisue, 7 Motikiai Murray, 6 Timoci Nakalevu, 5 Nalani May, 4 Mesake Vocevoce, 3 Lasaro Vuluma, 2 Kavaia Tagivetaua, 1 Moses McGoon
Replacements: 16 Joeli Nainoca, 17 Sitiveni Tamani, 18 Marika Toga, 19 Emosi Natubailagi, 20 Sakenasa Senivono Nalasi, 21 Frank Ralogaivau, 22 Tupeni Waqalala, 23 Bronson Lee

Argentina: 15 Felipe Mallia, 14 Mateo Soler, 13 Faustino Sanchez Valarolo, 12 Ernesto Giudice, 11 Valentin Soler Filloy, 10 Valentino Di Capua, 9 Tomas Di Biase, 8 Eliseo Chiavassa, 7 Felipe Bares, 6 Facundo Garcia Hamilton, 5 Tiziano Barrios, 4 Mateo Lorenzo, 3 Marcos Camerlinckx, 2 Valentino Minoyetti, 1 Matias Medrano
Replacements: 16 Tomas Bartolini, 17 Juan Vivas, 18 Tomas Rapetti, 19 Efrain Elias, 20 Aitor Bildosola, 21 Agustin Moyano, 22 Nicolas Lopez Gonzalez, 23 Franco Rossetto

Referee: Ben Breakspear (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Hollie Davidson (Scotland), Dylen November (South Africa)
TMO: AM Jacobs (South Africa)

South Africa vs England, 22-15


For South Africa:
Tries: Beets, Sieberhagen, Else
Cons: Smith 2
Pens: Smith

For England:
Tries: Wright, Carr
Cons: Slevin
Pens: Slevin


South Africa: 15 Regan Izaks, 14 Jurenzo Julius, 13 Katlego Letebele, 12 Damian Markus, 11 Quewin Nortje, 10 Jean Smith, 9 Neil le Roux, 8 Corné Beets, 7 Hennie Sieberhagen, 6 Paul de Villiers (captain), 5 Tiaan Wessels, 4 Coetzee le Roux, 3 Mawande Mdanda, 2 Juann Else, 1 Phatu Ganyane.
Replacements: 16 Samuel Kotze, 17 Corné Lavagna, 18 Zachary Porthen, 19 Abulele Ndabambi, 20 Gcinokuhle Mdletshe, 21 Imad Khan, 22 Litelihle Bester, 23 Michael Annies.

England: 15 Sam Harris, 14 Cassius Cleaves, 13 Joe Jenkins, 12 Rekeiti Ma’asi-White, 11 Alex Wills, 10 Connor Slevin, 9 Nye Thomas, 8 Zach Carr, 7 Nathan Michelow, 6 Chandler Cunningham-South, 5 Lewis Chessum (captain), 4 Joe Bailey, 3 Afolabi Fasogbon, 2 Craig Wright, 1 Asher Opoku-Fordjour.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Jibulu, 17 Ethan Clarke, 18 James Halliwell, 19 Finn Carnduff, 20 Tristan Woodman, 21 Charlie Bracken, 22 Louie Johnson, 23 Joe Woodward.

Referee: Reuben Keane (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Takehito Namekawa (Japan), Griffin Colby (South African)
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

France vs Ireland, 50-14


For France:
Tries: Ferte 2, Jouvin, Depootere, Julien, Drouet, Nouchi
Cons: Reus 6
Pens: Reus

For Wales:
Tries: Gunne, Devine
Cons: Prendergast 2


Ireland: 15 Henry McErlean, 14 Andrew Osborne, 13 Hugh Gavin, 12 John Devine, 11 James Nicholson, 10 Sam Prendergast, 9 Fintan Gunne, 8 Brian Gleeson, 7 Ruadhan Quinn, 6 James McNabney, 5 Conor O’Tighearnaigh, 4 Diarmuid Mangan, 3 Ronan Foxe, 2 Gus McCarthy, 1 Paddy McCarthy.
Replacements: 16 Max Clein, 17 George Hadden, 18 Fiachna Barrett, 19 Charlie Irvine, 20 Evan O’Connell, 21 Oscar Cawley, 22 Matthew Lynch, 23 Sam Berman.

France: 15 Mathis Ferte, 14 Leo Drouet, 13 Nicolas Depoortere, 12 Paul Costes, 11 Theo Attissogbe, 10 Hugo Reus, 9 Baptiste Jauneau, 8 Marko Gazzotti, 7 Oscar Jegou, 6 Lenni Nouchi, 5 Posolo Tuilagi, 4 Hugo Auradou,3 Zaccharie Affane, 2 Pierre Jouvin, 1 Louis Penverne.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Lacombre, 17 Lino Julien, 18 Thomas Duchene, 19 Brent Liufau, 20 Mathis Castro, 21 Leo Carbonneau, 22 Arthur Mathiron, 23 Clement Mondinat.

Referee: Damian Schneider (Argentina)
Assistant Referees: Hollie Davidson (Scotland), Morne Ferreira (South Africa)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (Italy)



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