U20 Wrap: England edge Australia to make last four

Date published: June 8 2017

The semi-final line-up for the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship has been decided after Wednesday's six matches in Georgia.

U20 Semi-Finals

England v South Africa
New Zealand v France


Wales 54-20 Samoa
Scotland 17-15 Italy
Argentina 14-72 South Africa
Ireland 3-69 New Zealand
France 54-0 Georgia
England 20-19 Australia

Wales 54-20 Samoa
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi

Wales recorded a comprehensive 54-20 bonus-point victory over Samoa in Tbilisi at the Under 20 Rugby World Championships on Thursday.

Tries from Jared Rosser, Sean Moore, Aled Ward, Dane Blacker, Will Griffiths, Joe Goodchild and a brace from Shane Lewis-Hughes proved too much for Samoa who scored through tries from Alexander Pohla and Seta Enoka. 

Wales completely dominated the set piece which laid the platform for their victory. In fact, a number of their tries came from the driving maul.

Samoa's scrum was completely overpowered. However, they did manage to pose a threat on attack when they used their good passing interplay and offloading.

Samoa were crippled by injury to talismanic centre Oikoumene Paisami which definitely took the sting out of their attack.

The result sees Samoa rooted to the bottom of Pool A with a single point while Wales consolidate third position with 6 points after a bonus-point win.

Samoa went into an early 6-0 lead but Wales scored 26 unanswered points to take a 26-6 lead in to the interval. Samoa reverted to their natural game and ensured the second-half was a less one-sided affair. 

However, a couple of late tries from Wales made the score slightly more flattering as they ran out eventual 54-20 winners.

The scorers:

For Wales:
Tries: Rosser, Ward, Lewis-Hughes 2, Moore, Blacker, Griffiths, Goodchild
Cons: Jones 4, Robson 3 

For Samoa:
Tries: Pohla, Enoka
Cons: Ene 2
Pens: Ene 2

Wales U20: 15 Phil Jones, 14 Jared Rosser, 13 Ioan Nicholas, 12 Owen Lane, 11 Joe Goodchild, 10 Ben Jones, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Aled Ward, 7 Will Jones (c), 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 5 Sean Moore, 4 Callum Bradbury, 3 Kieron Assiratti, 2 Owen Hughes, 1 Rhys Carre
Replacements: 16 Ellis Shipp, 17 Tom Mably, 18 Steff Thomas, 19 Will Griffiths, 20 James Botham, 21 Dane Blacker, 22 Arwel Robson, 23 Cameron Lewis

Samoa U20: 15 Ricky Ene, 14 Taniele Tele'a, 13 Oikoumene Paisami, 12 Tagaloa Fonoti, 11 Alexander Pohla, 10 Godinot Tinei, 9 Pupi Ah see, 8 Sione Tuipolotu, 7 Caleb Faalili, 6 Wyatt Uauata-Setu, 5 Peato Toeafe, 4 Julias Togafau, 3 Suetene Asomua, 2 Noel Sanft, 1 Ivan Fepuleai (c)
Replacements: 16 Petelo Ikenasio, 17 Seta Enoka, 18 Afioga Ielemia, 19 Theodore Solipo, 20 Francis Ah him, 21 Howard Tagoai, 22 Darren Moore, 23 Kerrod Foaese

Scotland 17-16 Italy
AIA Arena, Kutaisi

Scotland were made to work very hard before securing a 17-16 victory over a spirited Italy side in their Group B clash in Kutaisi.

In a topsy-turvy encounter, in which the lead changed several times, Scotland secured the result thanks to a Tom Dodd try in the 66th minute although the match was in the balance until the end.

But Scotland did enough to secure the result and eventually outscored their opponents by three tries to one. Scotland held a slender 12-10 lead at the interval thanks to tries from Robbie Nairn and Luke Crosbie with Marco Zanon crossing the whitewash for Italy.

The Scots made a bright start and raced in to the lead thanks to Nairn's try in the seventh minute after the ball went through several pairs of hands in the build-up.

Italy did not take that lying down and struck back three minutes later when Zanon dotted down under posts. Antonio Rizzi added the extras which put Italy in front but Scotland soon regained the lead when Crosbie scored their second try which was converted by Connor Eastgate.

The second half was evenly contested and two penalties from Rizzi meant Italy led 16-12 by the hour-mark before Dodd's late try spared Scotland's blushes.

The scorers:

For Scotland:
Tries: Nairn, Crosbie, Dodd
Con: Eastgate

For Italy:
Try: Zanon
Con: Rizzi
Pens: Rizzi 3

Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Robbie Nairn, 13 Ross McCann, 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Darcy Graham, 10 Connor Eastgate, 9 Andrew Simmers, 8 Tom Dodd, 7 Matt Fagerson, 6 Luke Crosbie, 5 Callum Hunter-Hill (c), 4 Alex Craig, 3 Adam Nicol, 2 Fraser Renwick, 1 George Thornton
Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Fergus Bradbury, 18 Ross Dunbar, 19 Hamish Bain, 20 Archie Erskine, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Josh Henderson, 23 Patrick Anderson

Italy: 15 Massimo Cioffi, 14 Andrea de Masi, 13 Marco Zanon, 12 Dario Schiabel, 11 Giovanni D'Onofrio, 10 Antonio Rizzi, 9 Charly Trussardi, 8 Giovanni Licata, 7 Michele Lamaro, 6 Jacopo Bianchi, 5 Lorenzo Masselli, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 3 Marco Riccioni (c), 2 Massimo Ceciliani, 1 Danilo Fischetti
Replacements: 16 Alberto Rollero, 17 Daniele Rimpelli, 18 Dante Gavrilita, 19 Edoardo Iachizzi, 20 Lodovico Manni, 21 MatteoMaria Panunzi, 22 Filippo Di Marco, 23 Andrea Bronzini

Argentina 14-72 South Africa 
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi

South Africa recorded a comprehensive 72-14 bonus-point victory over Argentina in U20 Junior World Championship action on Thursday.

Tries from Damian Willemse, Yaw Penxe, Juarno Augustus, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok, Francois de Villiers, Jeanluc Cilliers and braces from Gianni Lombard and Johan Grobbelaar proved too much for Argentina, who scored through tries from Tomás Malanos and Félix Luna.

The result means South Africa qualify for the semi-finals and the manner of the victory has definitely sent a warning to the other sides in the competition.

The Junior Boks were lethal on attack and showed that they possess devastating strike runners in their ranks.

One wonders how the Argentines managed to make the semi-finals in the last edition of the tournament as their defence was ruthlessly exposed on this occasion.

Meanwhile, South Africas scored tries in many different ways showing they are unpredictable on attack. Whether it was from expertly weighted grubber kicks to sniping breaks or driving mauls, the South Africans displayed an array of attacking threats.

The scorers:

For Argentina:
Tries: Malanos, Luna 
Cons: Albornoz 2
Yellow Card: Molina

For South Africa:
Tries: Grobbelaar 2, Lombard 2, Willemse, Penxe, Augustus, Papier, Libbok, De Villiers, Cilliers
Cons: Bosch 7
Pen: Bosch
Yellow Card: Simelane

Argentina U20: 15 Juan Pablo Castro, 14 Tomás Malanos (c), 13 Facundo Ferrario, 12 Félix Luna, 11 Bautista Delguy, 10 Tomás Albornoz, 9 Matías Sauze, 8 Nicolás Walker, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Bautista Stávile, 5 Lucas Paulos, 4 Nahul Milan, 3 Jeremías Tarter, 2 Leonel Oviedo, 1 Rodrigo Martínez
Replacements: 16 José Luis Gonzales, 17 Santiago Pullella, 18 Alejandro Luna, 19 Franco Molina, 20 Juan Molina, 21 Gonzalo García, 22 Juan B. Daireaux, 23 Teo Castiglioni

South Africa U20: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Gianni Lombard, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn (c), 6 Len Massyn, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Hendre Stassen, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Kwenzo Blose
Replacements: 16 Gerhard Steenkamp, 17 Daniel Jooste, 18 Wikus Groenewald, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Muller Uys, 21 Francois de Villiers, 22 Stedman Gans, 23 Jeanluc Cilliers

Ireland 3-69 New Zealand
AIA Arena, Kutaisi

Hat-tricks for wing Caleb Clarke and full-back Will Jordan helped the Baby Blacks to a commanding victory over Ireland on Wednesday.

Despite Ireland scoring first thanks to a Conor Fitzgerald penalty it was all downhill from there for last year's finalists, who conceded eleven tries overall in Kutaisi with New Zealand full of running.

The five-time champions led 31-3 by the break, thanks to two tries apiece from Clarke and Jordan, as well a score from impressive outside centre Braydon Ennor.

Tom Christie and Ereatara Enari continued the rout after the interval as New Zealand crossed the 40-point mark, but yellow cards to both locks Isaia Walker-Leawere and Sam Caird halted their momentum.

Ireland couldn't capitalise, Clarke going on to grab his hat-trick before Ireland lost Gavin Coombes to a yellow card after Josh McKay had grabbed yet another New Zealand try.

Jordan on to complete his hat-trick after number ten Tiaan Falcon also added a try, taking his overall points tally for the contest to 19 after kicking seven conversions.

The scorers:

For Ireland:
Pen: Fitzgerald
Yellow Card: Coombes

For New Zealand:
Tries: Clarke 3, Jordan 3, Ennor, Christie, Enari, McKay, Falcon
Cons: Falcon 7
Yellow Cards: Walker-Leawere, Caird

Ireland: 15 Alan Tynan, 14 Michael Silvester, 13 Jack Kelly (c), 12 David McCarthy, 11 Liam Coombes, 10 Conor Fitzgerald, 9 Jonny Stewart, 8 Sean Masterson, 7 John Foley, 6 Marcus Rea, 5 Jack Regan, 4 Gavin Coombes, 3 Greg McGrath, 2 Adam Moloney, 1 Joey Conway
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Jordan Duggan, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Fineen Wycherley, 20 Caelan Doris, 21 Jack Stafford, 22 Conor Dean, 23 Ciaran Frawley

New Zealand: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Tima Faingaanuku, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Orbyn Leger, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Tiaan Falcon, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Luke Jacobson (c), 7 Tom Christie, 6 Sam Slade, 5 Sam Caird, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Alex Fidow, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Ezekiel Lindenmuth (Auckland)
Replacements: 16 John (JP) Sauni, 17 Harrison Allan, 18 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 19 Adrian Choat, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, 21 Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, 22 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 23 Josh McKay

France 54-0 Georgia
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi

France secured second spot in Pool C with a one-side victory over hosts Georgia in an entertaining enocunter in Tbilisi.

Les Bleus made their intentions known from the outset and ran the ball from all areas of the field. They were soon rewarded when Nathan Decron threw an inside pass to Baptiste Couillloud who crossed for the opening try.

Les Bleus continued to attack and shortly afterwards Ugo Boniface burst through a couple of tackles before diving over for a deserved five-pointer.

France continued to dominate and in the 12th minute Peato Mauvaka crossed for their third try from a lineout drive deep inside Georgia's 22. Matthieu Jalibert converted all three those tries but for the next 20 minutes Georgoa fought back bravely although thry could not score any points.

France regained the initiative during the latter stages of the half they secured their bonus-point try when Jalibert crossed the whitewash before adding the conversion which gave his side a 28-0 lead at the interval.

Georgia came out fighting after the break but despite having a bulk of the possession, they could not open their account. France soon took control of proceedings and a and a superb offload from Mauvaka to Decron saw the latter scoring in the left-hand corner which meant les Bleus led 33-0 after 50 minutes.

Further tries from Selevasio Tolofua and Alexandre Roumat meant France were cruising and they brought up theit half century in the game's closing stages when Baptiste Pesenti crossed the whitewash after gathering a pass from Tolofua deep inside Georgia's 22.

The scorers:

For France:
Tries: Couilloud, Mauvaka, Boniface, Jalibert, Decron, Tolofua, Roumat, Pesenti
Cons: Jalibert 6, Arrate

France: 15 Geoffrey Cros, 14 Faraj Fartass, 13 Nathan Decron, 12 Pablo Uberti, 11 Retiere, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Baptiste Couilloud, 8 Selevasio Tolofua, 7 Dylan Cretin, 6 Alexandre Roumat, 5 Mickaël Capelli, 4 Florian Verhaeghe (c), 3 Georges-Henri Colombe, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Ugo Boniface
Replacements: 16 Hassane Kolingar, 17 Florian Dufour, 18 Daniel Brennan, 19 Killian Geraci, 20 Baptiste Pesenti, 21 Arthur Coville, 22 Alex Arrate, 23 Romain Buros

Georgia: 15 Beka Mamukashvili, 14 Akaki Tabutsadze, 13 Bezhani Gavashelishvili, 12 Giorgi Tsiklauri, 11 Saba Svimonishvili, 10 Giorgi Gogoladze, 9 Luka Dvalishvili, 8 Tornike Jalagonia (c), 7 Aleksandre Kalmakhelidze, 6 Sandro Mamamtavrishvili, 5 Giorgi Nutsubidze, 4 Lashia Jaiani, 3 Levan Papidze, 2 Tengiz Zamtaradze, 1 Ushangi Tcheishvili
Replacements: 16 Levan Papidze, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Revaz Dugladze, 19 Beka Saghinadze, 20 Arseni Machaladze, 21 Gela Aprasidze, 22 Gela Abzhandadze, 23 Miriani Modebadze

England 20-19 Australia
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi

A late Max Malins penalty proved to be the difference as England secured their place in the U20s semi-finals at the expense of Australia in Tbilisi.

Malins' late strike with a minute to go edged England ahead, with Australia unable to come up with the winning points in the closing stages of the contest.

Harrison Goddard and Theo Brophy Clews traded early penalties before Australia opened up a sizeable lead, thanks to a try from centre Sione Tuipulotu and two further penalties from Goddard to make it 16-3.

England needed a response and they got it through an excellent score from Gabriel Ibitoye, converted by Malins, with Australia ahead 16-10 at the break.

Marcus Street's try after 50 minutes, converted by Malins, edged England back ahead 17-16 to set up a tense finish, Harry Nucifora missing his first attempt but converting his second to give Australia a 19-17 lead.

The match swung again with two minutes to go, Australia losing replacement prop Harry Johnson-Holmes to a yellow card before Malins landed what proved to be the match-winning kick.

The scorers:

For England:
Tries: Ibitoye, Street
Cons: Malins 2
Pens: Brophy Clews, Malins

For Australia:
Try: Tuipulotu
Cons: Goddard
Pens: Goddard 3, Nucifora
Yellow Card: Johnson-Holmes

England: 15 Tom Parton, 14 Paolo Odogwu, 13 Will Butler, 12 Theo Brophy Clews, 11 Gabriel Ibitoye, 10 Max Malins, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Zach Mercer (c), 7 Ben Earl, 6 Dino Lamb, 5 Jack Nay, 4 Josh Caulfield, 3 Marcus Street, 2 Henry Walker, 1 Ollie Dawe
Replacements: 16 Joe Mullis, 17 Ralph Adams-Hale, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Justin Clegg, 20 Max Davies, 21 Josh Bayliss, 22 Alex Mitchell, 23 Darren Atkins

Australia: 15 Liam McNamara, 14 Henry Hutchison, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Semisi Tupou, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Harrison Goddard, 8 Reece Hewat (c), 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Ryan McCauley, 3 Shambeckler Vui, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cody Walker
Replacements: 16 Efi Maafu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Gavin Luka, 19 Lachlan Swinton, 20 Rob Valetini, 21 Harry Nucifora, 22 Nick Jooste, 23 Dylan Riley