Baby Blacks hold on for fourth title

27th Jun 2011, 11:16

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Number four: The Baby Blacks win again

Number four: The Baby Blacks win again

New Zealand resisted a comeback from England to win 33-22 and claim a fourth straight Junior World Championship title.

New Zealand resisted a gallant comeback from England to win 33-22 and claim a fourth consecutive IRB Junior World Championship title in Padova on Sunday.

England fought back from being 23-10 down to narrow the gap to a single point going into the final quarter before a late try to full-back Beauden Barrett sealed victory for the defending champions.

The result sees the Baby Blacks extend their unbeaten record in the World Championships an incredible 20 matches.

18 points from the boot of Gareth Anscombe separated the sides, who ran in three tries apiece in a pulsating encounter at Stadio Plebiscito.

Wing Christian Wade capped a strong opening period for England with the game's first try in the corner following a powerful run down the touchline after just eight minutes.

New Zealand pulled three points back with penalty from Anscombe before moving ahead on the 25-minute mark thanks to a try from wing Charles Piutau.

Anscombe and England fly-half George Ford exchanged penalties before prop Ben Tameifuna crashed over just before half time to extend the Baby Blacks' lead to 20-10 when the teams headed for the changing rooms.

A third penalty from Anscombe's boot stretched the lead to 13 points but a try from England prop Henry Thomas dragged his side back into contention.

England were denied a chance to take the lead when New Zealand scrum-half TJ Perenara managed to get his arm under the ball as Matt Kvesic dove over under the sticks.

But Wade made sure he got the ball down shortly afterwards for his second try. Ford's conversion attempt sailed just wide leaving New Zealand with a one-point lead.

Anscombe found the mark with his fourth penalty to give the defending champions some breathing room.

With just six minutes left on the clock, Barrett chased down his own toe poke to touch down to the delight of his team-mates and ecstatic New Zealand fans in the crowd.

The scorers:

For New Zealand:
Tries: Piutau, Tameifuna, Barrett
Cons: Anscombe 3
Pens: Anscombe 4

For England:
Tries: Wade 2, Thomas
Cons: Ford 2
Pen: Ford

England: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Andy Short, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Christian Wade, 10 George Ford, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Alex Gray (capt), 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sam Jones, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Will Collier, 18 Sam Twomey, 19 Matt Everard, 20 Dan Robson, 21 Ryan Mills, 22 Marland Yarde.

New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Mitchell Scott, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Lima Sopoaga, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Luke Whitelock (capt), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Brodie Rettalick, 4 Steven Luatua, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Solomona Sakalia.
Replacements: 16 Sefo Setefano, 17 Michael Kainga, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Carl Axtens, 20 Brad Weber, 21 Rhys Llewellyn, 22 Waisake Naholo.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)