U20 World Championship: Finals wrap
FINALS WRAP: Vive la France! France are again the Under-20 World Champions.
They are the champions after beating Australia’s Junior Wallabies 24-23 in an excellent final in Rosario, Argentina.
Possibly, the second most important match of the day was the first, when Fiji warded off relegation by beating Scotland who will take the drop.
The Final Rankings
3. South Africa
7. New Zealand
FINAL: Australia 23-24 France
France kept the crown it had won on home soil in 2018, this time winning down South America way. It is the second time that France have won the title and the second time that Australia have been runners-up.
If this is the future of rugby, there is a great time coming for the world game. That may be one message from this excellent match between two young but skilled teams who were oldfashioned enough to believe in running with the ball, catching it and passing it, and trying to avoid a tackle rather than “take” it. Perhaps the message is that rugby is still a young person’s game, for they have innocence enough to handle its virtues.
From the start, both teams ran with the ball, passing it and catching it and trying to beat opponents with it. At the end, 80 minutes later, they were still running with it, catching it and passing it and trying to beat opponents with it.
And at the final whistle one of the teams was hopping and hugging and even kissing in a gleeful team celebration, while the others were strewn about the ground, each plunged in personal gloom. That is the way of finals and yet both sides had a great deal to be proud of and to celebrate.
It was 24-23 to France; it could just as easily been 24-23 to Australia. After all, Australia scored three tries to France’s two, and it was the boot that produced the difference.
Australia set the ground alight when Isaac Lucas broke and gave to ;left wing Mark Nawaqanitawase, and the elegant left wing strode some 30 metres to score in the left corner. That happened before even a minute of the match had been played. But the conversion was missed, which counted in the end.
Hookers’ tries in “big” rugby come mostly from mauls. There are two hookers’ tries in this match neither from a maul.
For the first one, the French scrumhalf Leo Coly dummied and broke and gave to hooker Théo Lachand, who scored. The conversion was successful, which counted in the end.
The teams each scored a penalty missed before Australia regained the lead. Outside centre Semisi Tupou broke and gave to busy hooker Lachlas Lonergan who pumped his legs in a 25-metre dash for the try which took his team into a 13-10 lead after 22 minutes.
France got the lead back 12 minutes later. A penalty gave them a five-metre lineout. They threw on No.2 in the lineout and swung round the front for a try that prop Alex Burin scored. 15-13, which became 18-13 when Carbonel kicked his second penalty goal just before half-time. 18-13 to France at the break.
The lead changed hands in thrilling fashion with the few scores of the second half.
Australia won a French lineout deep in French territory and Harry Wilson scored a try which Will Harrison converted. 20-18.
Australia were offside, and Carbonel kicked the goal. 21-20.
France were penalised at a tackle, and Harrison kicked the goal. 23-21.
Australia were penalised at a scrum, and Carbonel kicked the goal. 24-23.
And there were still 15 minutes to play.
Both sides kept running and handling for most of that time, till the last few minutes when France tried to play keep ball and lost the ball. Australia tried phases as the French tackled with zest, till Australia knocked on and France could, dance, sing and hug while the Junior Wallabies contemplated what might have been.
Tries: Nawaqanitawase, Lonergan, Wilson
Pens: Harrison 2
Tries: Burin, Lachand
Pens: Carbonel 4
Australia: 15 Isaac Lucas, 14 Triston Reilly, 13 Semisi Tupou, 12 Noah Lolesio, 11 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Michael McDonald, 8 Will Harris, 7 Fraser McReight (captain), 6 Harry Wilson, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Michael Wood, 3 Josh Nasser, 2 Lachlas Lonergan, 1 Angus Bell
Replacements: 16 Joe Cotton, 17 Bo Abra, 18 Darcy Breen, 19 Rhys Van Nek, 20 Esei Ha’angana, 21 Nick Frost, 22 Carlo Tizzano, 23 Patrick Tafa, 24 Henry Robertson, 25 Ben Donaldson, 26 Kye Oates, 27 Joey Walton, 28 Sione Tui
France: 15 Matthis Lebel, 14 Vincent Pinto, 13 Arthur Vincent (captain), 12 Julien Delbouis, 11 Donovan Taofifanua, 10 Louis Carbonel, 9 Leo Coly, 8 Jordan Joseph, 7 Thibault Hamonou, 6 Haddad Victor, 5 Florent Vanverberghe, 4 Killian Geraci, 3 Alex Burin, 2 Théo Lachand, 1 Jean-Baptiste Gros
Replacements: 16 Rayne Barka, 17 Eli Eglaine, 18 Georgi Beria, 19 Paul Mallez, 20 Gauthier Maravat, 21 Mathieu Hirigoyen, 22 Loïc Hocquet, 23 Quintin Delord, 24 Mathieu Smaïli, 25 Antoine Zeghoar, 26 Ethan Dumortier, 27 Alexandre De Nardi
Referee: James Doleman (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley (England), Ben Blain (Scotland)
Television match official: Brian MacNeice (England)
THIRD PLACE PLAY-OFF: Argentina 16-41 South Africa
For the eighth time and the third in succession, South Africa has won the bronze medal at the World Under-20 Championship.
The final score makes it look a comfortable victory. It was not. With 20 minutes to play the score was 17-16, largely because the Pumitas had great difficulty kicking goals, even easy ones, while the Baby Boks kicked theirs.
Kicking apart, the major contribution to the South African victory was their aggressive defence. They were sharp and determined, fast up on their opponents. Their last 14 points were the direct reward for their aggressive defence.
Their biggest failing in the match was the number of penalties conceded. With 20 minutes to play, the penalty count was 14-5 against them.
Sanele Nohamba kicked off for South Africa and was the first to score. They attacked from the start and from a scrum five metres from the Argentinian line, Pepsi Buthelezi was stopped at the line and Nohamba picked up, dummied, swivelled and scored and then converted his own try. 7-0 after three minutes.
Joaquín de la Vega Mendia and Nohamba traded penalties before Rikus Pretorius forced his way past four defenders, burst clear and gave to Thaakir Abrahams, who scored. That made the half-time score 17-3 to South Africa.
Within six minutes of the start of the second half Argentina scored two tries, the first by Mendia and the second by effective wing Mate Carreras after a brilliant break by Gerónimo Prisciantelli. Both gave easy chances for conversion but both were missed.
With the score at 17-16, David Coetzer had a powerful run down the left. South Africa went wide right. From a scrum Abrahams sped over for his second try and then Coetzer dropped a goal, and with 14 minutes to play the score was 27-16, and yet victory was not assured.
The Pumitas were going left and the Baby Boks were rushing up on defence. Prisciantelli passed, JJ van der Mescht stuck out a big right hand and gallopped some 30 metres to score his second long-range try of the tournament.
The past try was also a reward for defence. The desperate Pumitas were running when Caleb Dingaan dived into Juan Martín Gonzalez’s midrif. The ball spilled forward into the hands of Pretorius who ran free to the goal posts. That made it 41-16 with two minutes to play.
For South Africa:
Tries: Nohamba, Abrahams 2, Van der Mescht, Pretorius
Cons: Nohamba 4, Hendrikse
Tries: De La Vega Mendia, Carreras
Pens: De La Vega Mendia, Roger
Argentina: 15 Ignacio Mendy, 14 Francisco Jorge, 13 Tomás Acosta Pimentel, 12 Gerónimo Prisciantelli, 11 Mate Carreras, 10 Joaquín de la Vega Mendia, 9 Gonzalo García (captain), 8 Bautiste Pedemonte, 7 Juan Martín Gonzalez, 6 Jerónimo Gómez Vara, 5 Lucas Bur, 4 Manuel Bernstein, 3 Estanislao Carullo, 2 Pablo Dimcheff, 1 Thomas Gallo
Replacements: 16 Francisco Minervino, 17 Mariano Muntaner, 18 Francisco Coria, 19 Francisco Calandra, 20 Ramiro Tallone, 21 Ignacio Ruiz, 22 Juan Cruz Pérez Rachel, 23 Federico Parnás, 24 Joaquín Pellandini, 25 Nicolás Roger, 26 Julián Quetglas, 27 Rodrigo Isgró, 28 Marco Moneta
South Africa: 15 Vaughen Isaacs, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 David Kriel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 David Coetzer, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi(captain), 7 Celimpilo Gumede, 6 Jaco Labuschagne, 5 Elrigh Louw, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 1 Kudzwai Dube
Replacements: 16 Dameon Venter, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Keagan Glade, 19 Thabiso Mdletshe, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Sibusiso Sangweni, 22 Caleb Dingaan, 23 Jaden Hendrikse, 24 Janko Swanepoel, 25 Marnus Potgieter, 26 Zwelendaba Mnombo
Referee: Damon Murphy (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ben Blain (Scotland), Christophe Ridley (England)
Television match official: Ian Smith (Australia)
FIFTH PLACE PLAY-OFF: England 45-26 Wales
In the Under-20 Six Nations earlier this year, Wales beat England 11-10. That was all changed in this high-scoring match in Rosario. It had changed early in the match, when Wales found themselves 21-0 down after just 13 minutes and 28-0 down at half-time.
It was a better second half for Wales but not nearly enough as England took a grip on the last part of the match.
Wales kicked off and looked about to score as Ryan Conbeer raced down the left wing, but his inside pass was knocked on and instead England scored. Tall left wing Josh Hodge, covering to the his right, picked up the ball and raced down the right wing banging a would-be tackler out of the way. He kicked ahead and won the race to be bouncing ball in the Wales in-goal to score. The Geordie, the tournament’s top try-scorer, converted, as he did all five of England’s tries.
A penalty gave England a five-metre lineout. They mauled and scored, Will Capon touching down and then, when Welsh centre Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler was found guilty of a deliberate knock-on, the referee awarded a penalty try. 21-0.
A penalty, a five-metre lineout and a maul were the forerunners of big Joe Heyes’s try on the stroke of half-time. It was the first of four ties scored in this manner, the other three Wales’s first three tries of the second half.
Jac Morgan dotted down for the first one, captain Dewi Lake the second. But immediately after Lake’s try, England kicked off, Luke James charged down Cai Evans’s clearing kick, and Fraser Dingwall picked up and scored. That made it 35-14.
In this half Wales were far more eager and played with greater confidence while England were much penalised. Ed Scragg’s try was Wales’s third maul try from a lineout. 35-21 with 20 minutes to play.
Then England got themselves together, Hodge kicked a penalty and Ted Hill took a long pass from lick Richard Capstick to score in the left corner. Left-footed Hodge converted from touch to take his tally for the tournament to 63.
Tries: Hodge, Capon, Penalty Try, Heyes, Dingwall, Hill
Cons: Hodge 5
Tries: Morgan, Scragg, Lake, Dyer
Cons: Evans 3
England: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Fraser Dingwal (captain), 12 Luke James, 11 Josh Hodge, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Sam Maunder, 8 Tom Willis, 7 Rusiate Tuima, 6 Ted Hill, 5 Alex Coles, 4 Joel Kpoku, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Will Capon, 1 James Kenny
Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly, 17 Olly Adkins, 18 Alfie Petch, 19 Kai Owen, 21 Richard Capstick, 22 Ollie Fox, 23 Tom Seabrook, 24 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 25 Connor Doherty
Wales: 15 Ioan Davies, 14 Tomi Lewis, 13 Deon Smith, 12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, 11 Ryan Conbeer, 10 Cai Evans, 9 Harri Morgan, 8 Jac Morgan, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Iestyn Rees, 5 Jac Price, 4 Ed Scragg, 3 Nick English, 2 Dewi Lake (captain), 1 Rhys Davies
Replacements: Garin Lloyd, Kemsley Mathias, Ben Warren, Morgan Jones, Lennon Greggains, Dafydd Buckland, Rio Dyer, Tom Hoppe, Teddy Williams, Tom Devine, Ioan R Davies, Will Griffiths
Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)
Assistant referees: Tomaz Bertazza (Argentina), Nicolas Cotic (Argentina)
Television match official: Ian Smith (Australia)
SEVENTH PLACE PLAY-OFF: Ireland 17-40 New Zealand
The Baby Blacks were never in danger of losing against Ireland, the Six Nations Under-20 champions. By half-time they were leading 26-5.
The results means that New Zealand have ended seventh the lowest they have ever been, where as this is the fourth time Ireland have been eighth, three places higher than they were last year.
For New Zealand:
Tries: Fainga’anuku, Norris, Klein, Williams, Nanai-Seturo 2
Cons: Reihana 5
Tries: Tierney-Martin, Baird, Wycherley
Ireland: 15 Max O’ Reilly, 14 Angus Kernohan, 13 Liam Turner, 12 Cormac Foley, 11 Rob Russell, 10 Jake Flannery,, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Brian Deeny, 7 Ronan Watters, 6 Ryan Baird, 5 Thomas Ahern, 4 Charlie Ryan, 3 Thomas Clarkson, 2 Dylan Tierney-Martin, 1 Josh Wycherley
Replacements: 16 Declan Adamson, 17 Michael Milne, 18 Charlie Ward, 19 John McKee, 20 Niall Murray, 21 Luke Clohessy, 22 Azur Allison, 24 Colm Reilly, 25 Ben Healy, 26 Jonathan Wren, 27 David Ryan, 28 Aaron O’Sullivan
New Zealand: 15 Cole Forbes , 14 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Rivez Reihana, 9 Taufa Funaki, 8 Simon Parker, 7 Jeriah Mua, 6 Kaylum Boshier (captain), 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Cullen Grace, 3 Fletcher Newell, 2 Shilo Klein, 1 Ollie Norris
Replacements: 16 Kianu Kereru-Symes, 17 Robert Cobb, 18 Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, 19 Tamaiti Williams, 20 Taine Plumtree, 22 James Thompson, 23 Kohan Herbert, 24 Leroy Carter, 25 Fergus Burke, 26 Dallas McLeod, 27 Chay Fihaki
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Ignacio Bocardo (Argentina)
Television match official: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)
NINTH PLACE PLAY-OFF: Italy 29-17 Georgia
After leading a meagre 7-3 at half-time, Italy beat Georgia 29-17 in Santa Fe to end up in ninth spot in the Under-20 tournament’s rankings.
Tries: Drudi, Mori, Trulla, Capuozzo
Cons: Garbisi 3
Tries: Alania, Tapladze
Cons: Abzhandadze 2
Georgia: 15 Teimuraz Tchitchinadze, 14 Otar Lashkhi, 13 Demur Tapladze, 12 Irakli Simsive, 11 Konstantine Marjanishvili, 10 Tedo Abzhandadze (captain), 9 Mikheil Alania, 8 Ioane Iashagashvili, 7 Ioseb Gusharashvili, 6 Paata Burchuladze, 5 Tato Gvimradze, 4 Luka Gelashvili, 3 Gia Kharaishvili, 2 Vano Karkadze, 1 Nika Gvaladze
Replacements: 16 Luka Nioradze, 17 Luka Azariashvili, 18 Zaur Tevdorashvili, 19 Vakhtang Jincharadze, 20 Koba Kolotauri, 21 Giorgi Margalitadze, 22 Sandro Margiani, 23 Lasha Lomidze, 24 Tsintsadze, 25 Zura Kavtaradze, 26 Beka Koriauli, 27 Dachi Papunashvili, 28 Luka Tchelidze
Italy: 15 Jacopo Trulla, 14 Edoardo Mastandrea, 13 Matteo Moscardi, 12 Damiano Mazza, 11 Cristian Lai, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Alessandro Fusco, 8 Antoine Koffi, 7 Davide Ruggeri (captain), 6 Andrea Chianucci, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 4 Nicolare Stoian, 3 Matteo Nocera, 2 Andrej Marinello, 1 Matteo Drudi
Replacements: 16 Niccolò Taddia, 17 Lorenzo Michelini, 18 Luca Franceschetto, 19 Filippo Alongi, 20 Thomas Parolo, 21 Angelo Maurizi, 22 Mirko Finotto, 23 Lorenzo Citton, 24 Giacomo Da Re, 25 Federico Mori, 26 Giulio Bertaccini, 27 Micheal Mba, 28 Ange Capuozzo
Referee: Pali Deluca (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Damian Schneider (Argentina), Martin Eusebio (Argentina)
Television match official: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)
ELEVENTH PLACE PLAY-OFF: Scotland 34-59 Fiji
The first match of the day was the crucial battle to avoid last place and subsequent relegation to the World Trophy in 2020. The relieved side are Fiji who had an emphatic win over Scotland who have played in all 12 World Under-20 Championships so far.
The men from the islands scored eight tries to five.
Scotland started well enough but the match as a contest seemed over when Fiji led 38-15 at half-time at the Old Resians Club in Santa Fe.
Tries: Waqaninavatu 2, Natoga, Rasaku, Droasese, Ramototabua, Qaranivalu, Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens
Cons: Muntz 8
Tries: Ashman 2, Davidson, Blain 2
Cons: Thompson 3
Fiji: 15 Osea Waqa, 14 Kaminieli Rasaku, 13 Veresa Tuqovu, 12 Isaac Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, 11 Osea Natoga, 10 Caleb Muntz, 9 Simione Kuruvoli, 8 Aminasi Shaw, 7 livereti Loaloa, 6 Yabaki Seeto, 5 Christopher Minimbi, 4 Etonia Waqaninavatu, 3 Joseva Nasaroa, 2 Tevita Ikanivere (captain), 1 Livai Natave
Replacements: 16 Lino Mairara, 17 Emosi Tuqiri, 18 Elijah Kuilamu, 19 Napolioni Mocelutu, 20 Anasa Qaranivalu, 21 Eparama Sailo, 22 Mesake Kurisaru, 23 Josh Vuta, 24 Ilaisa Droasese, 25 Epeli Momo
Scotland: 15 Matt Davidson, 14 Rory McMichael, 13 Cameron Anderson, 12 Robbie McCallum, 11 Jack Blain, 10 Ross Thompson, 9 Roan Frostwick, 8 Tom Marshall, 7 Connor Boyle (captain), 6 Marshall Sykes, 5 Ross Bundy, 4 Ewan Johnson, 3 Euan McLaren, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Murphy Walker
Replacements: 16 Rory Jackson, 17 Andrew Nimmo, 18 Will Hurd, 19 Mak Wilson, 20 Jack Hill, 21 Kwagga van Niekerk, 22 Teddy Leatherbarrow, 23 Murray Scott, 24 Nathan Chamberlain, 25 Grant Hughes, 26 Lomond MacPherson, 27 Ollie Smith
Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Juan Spirandelli (Argentina)
Television match official: Brian MacNeice (England)
Main picture: @WorldRugby