England claimed a deserved 38-24 win over Australia in their Pool A clash at the Junior World Championship in Albany on Friday.
While South Africa's 33-24 victory over hosts New Zealand hit the headlines on Day Two of the tournament, England's impressive display in their five-try demolition of Australia certainly caught the attentions of the other sides who are trying wrestle the trophy from the grasp of 2013's champions.
Two tries apiece for Henry Taylor and Nathan Earle and one for Gus Jones secured England their win, while Billy Burns kicked five conversions and one penalty.
Australia took an early lead in the corner through wing Andrew Kellaway, which was brilliantly converted by Jake McIntyre.
But England hit back with a quick double from scrum-half Taylor. First he sniped between two from close range before number eight James Chisholm found him on the inside to dive over.
Australia made it 17-10 after 30 minutes with a McIntyre penalty before a brilliant piece of skill from Nick Tompkins found Saracens team-mate Nathan Earle, who powered his way over the line to give England a 24-10 advantage.
Australia hit back through Kellaway, who grabbed his second try before the break, but England started the second 40 with a bang as Jones dived over for the seventh try of his England U20 career.
Again Australia came back fighting though, and scored through McIntyre to make it a seven-point game at 31-24. However, Earle killed off the contest when he crossed for his second try - and fifth of the competition - in the corner following some more neat work from Tompkins.
In Pool A action, Fiji's indecision among the back-line and fallibility among the forwards was particularly evident during Friday's heavy 37-5 defeat to France at the ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe.
Despite a handful of changes to a pack largely outdone by Wales earlier this week, the Fijians crumbled at the scrum and folded at the line-out. Loose forward Vincent Sosefo's yellow card in the 30th minute of the first half typified the inefficiencies.
The scoreline should arguably have been larger, but French flare consistently skipped the basics, ensuring multiple chances were squandered. Right wing Arthur Bonneval was the standout performer, securing several sniping runs, while scrum-half Thibault Daubagna's cheeky pop passes to the inside of the attacker thrilled an appreciative crowd.
Lock pairing Felix Lambey and Jean Baptiste Singer, too, must be commended for leading a slew of near insurmountable rolling mauls. The latter's performance, unfortunately, was marred by a marginal sin-bin offence through the closing throes.
The win means France are in pole position at the top of the pool after Ireland beat Wales' 35-21 in their encounter at same venue earlier in the day.
Ireland raced into a 14-0 lead after early tries from Rory Burke and Garry Ringrose but Wales struck back through a Tyler Morgan five-pointer and a penalty try shortly before half-time.
Wales then took the lead thanks to a Tyler Morgan try but Ringrose put Ireland back in front with his second try which Ross Byrne converted. Byrne added three further penalties before Cian Kelleher sealed the win with a try shortly before the end.
In the day;'s two other matches - which were both played in Albany - Samoa beat Scotland 27-18 in a Pool C encounter and Italy edged out Pool A rivals Argentina 29-26.
Fly-half William Talataina Mu led the way for Samoa scoiring 17 points via a try, two penalties and three conversions and the Islanders' other points came through tries by Nathaniel Apa and William Talataina Mu. For Scotland, Jamie Farndale, Sam Pecquer and James Ritchie scored tries, and Rory Hutchinson kicked a penalty.
Filippo Buscema was Italy's hero contributing 19 points via four penalties, two conversions and a drop goal, and their other points came through five-pointers from Gabriele Di Giulio and Lorenzo Maria Bruno.
For Argentina. Patricio Fernandez kicked four penalties and two conversions, and Tomas Ramirez and Bautista Ezcurra crossed over for tries.