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Match Report: England U20s 17 New Zealand U20s 64

18 Jun 2017
Match Report: England U20s 17 New Zealand U20s 64

New Zealand ran in ten tries as they overpowered England in the final of the World Rugby Under 20s championship in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Tries from Ben Earl, Alex Mitchell and Josh Bayliss were the bright moments in the tie for England, but they came up against a New Zealand outfit brimming with talent, power and confidence.

New Zealand crossed ten times, with Stephen Perofeta adding seven conversions with the boot.

The Baby Blacks were the better side from the start, and were in front at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium after Dalton Papali’i crashed over within the first four minutes.

Pouri Rakete-Stones crossed the whitewash for a second time before the ten-minute mark as New Zealand looked to pull away in the early stages.

However, flanker Earl, of Saracens, charged through on 18 minutes to drag his side back into the game, but that was as good as it got for England in a first half of Baby Black dominance.

Two tries in two minutes followed shortly afterwards, with hooker Asafo Aumua, outstanding all afternoon, powering over and Isaia Walker-Leawere also dotting down.

England fought valiantly to try and stem the tide, but the Baby Blacks crossed twice more before the interval.

The impressive Aumua claimed his second try after excellent work by wing Caleb Clarke, and skipper Luke Jacobsen bagged one for himself, meaning the Baby Blacks went into half-time with a 33-point cushion.

England were brighter in the opening stages of the second period, but Josh McKay added another try six minutes after the restart to stretch the Baby Blacks’ advantage.

England were given a glimmer of hope moments after the restart, with referee Nic Berry sending New Zealand loosehead prop Ezekiel Lindenmuth to the sin bin for a cynical tackle.

And England made the most of their numerical advantage, with replacement scrum-half Alex Mitchell, of Northampton Saints, crossing the whitewash to close the gap.

But the Baby Blacks found another gear once more, with Aumua touching down for his hat-trick with 20 minutes left on the clock, and Tom Christie dotting down seven minutes later.

Despite the scoreline heavily weighted in favour of the opposition, England did not give up their spirit, and some excellent build-up play by try-scorers Earl and Mitchell set up Bath Rugby youngster Josh Bayliss to dot down.

But Skipper Jacobsen raced clear with seconds left for his second score of the afternoon, taking the Baby Blacks’ try count into double figures.

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