Maori battalion inspired NZ U20s

Date published: June 21 2015

New Zealand U20 head coach Scott Robertson has revealed what inspired his side to glory at the U20 World Championship in Italy.

The Baby Blacks grabbed their first title for four years with a 21-16 win over England in Cremona on Saturday.

Robertson spoke about the history of the New Zealand Maori battalion in Italy and how their efforts inspired his men.

"Our theme this year was the Italian campaign of the second division, which involved the New Zealand Maori battalion as well, and we used a lot of their themes, when they were in Italy," Robertson told World Rugby.

"They fought hard and had their final in Trieste. We used that tonight.

"We have our dogtags and we fought for the heroes and the fallen before us so it was pretty empowered and it was amazing.

"Our scrum and lineout was superb, which is a strength of the English, and we won a tight game," Robertson also told Stuff. 

"We've got really good character and culture in the group and I'm just really proud. It's been four long years."

New Zealand captain Atunaisa Moli acknowledged that England put the champions under plenty of pressure in the final, but was proud of his squad.

"It was very physical and big ups to the boys, they came out and executed the stuff we needed to execute," said Moli.

"The plan was just to build phases. England played well and put a lot of pressure on us, but the boys were great."