U20 Wrap: Italy stun Ireland

Date published: May 31 2017

All the latest results from Day 1 of the World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 in Georgia.


England 74-17 Samoa
New Zealand 42-20 Scotland
Ireland 21-22 Italy
South Africa 23-23 France
Georgia 26-37 Argentina
Australia 24-17 Wales

England 74-17 Samoa
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi

England started the defence of the World Rugby U20 Championship crown in style when they thrashed Samoa 74-17 in Tbilisi.

The defending champions dominated from start to finish and eventually outscored the Pacific islanders by 12 tries to two. Leading the charge was England's captain Zach Mercer, Ali Crossdale, Gabriel Ibitoye and Dominic Morris, who each scored a brace of tries.

England made a superb start when Crossdale scored his first try in the fifth minute and things worsened for Samoa shortly afterwards when Losilosivale Filipo was yellow carded for a high tackle on Alex Mitchell.

Mercer and Max Malins crossed for tries during Filipo's stint in the sin bin and there were further tries from the skipper, Mitchell, Morris and Ibitoye with Samoa's only points coming via a Ricky Ene penalty in the 27th minute which meant England held a comfortable 43-3 lead at half-time.

The procession continued after the break and England led 60-3 by the 64th minute after Marcus Street, Tom Parton and Ciaran Knight also dotted down. 

Samoa fought back via a try from Filipo in the 66th minute but England struck back with further tries from Morris and Ibitoye before Filipo crossed for his second try shortly before full-time.

The scorers:

For England U20:
Crossdale 2, Mercer 2, Malins, Mitchell, Morris 2, Ibitoye 2, Street, C Knight
Cons: Malins 4, Umaga 3

For Samoa U20:
Filip 2
Cons: Paisami 2
Pen: Ene

England: 15 Tom Parton, 14 Ali Crossdale, 13 Dominic Morris, 12 Will Butler, 11 Gabriel Ibitoye, 10 Max Malins, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Zach Mercer (c), 7 Josh Bayliss, 6 Max Davies, 5 Dino Lamb, 4 Josh Caulfield, 3 Marcus Street, 2 Jamie Blamire, 1 Ollie Dawe 
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Alex Seville, 19 Ciaran Knight, 20 Joe Mullis, 21 Harry Randall, 22 Max Wright, 23 Jacob Umaga

Samoa: 15 Ricky Ene, 14 Alexander Pohla-Murray, 13 Oikoumene Paisami, 12 Taniula Tele'a, 11 Losilosivale Filipo, 10 Grayson Whitman, 9 Godinet Tinei, 8 Sione Tuipolotu, 7 Calab Faalili, 6 Shammah-Anthony Solomona, 5 Peato Toeafe, 4 Julius Togafau, 3 Sutena Asomua, 2 Noel Sanft, 1 Ivan Fepuleai
Replacements: 16 Petelo Ikenasio, 17 Setu Enoka, 18 Afioga Ielemia, 19 Wyatt-Misitaga Uauta-Setu, 20 Francis Ah Him, 21 Pupl Ah See, 22 Tagaloa Tavita Fonoti, 23 Darren Moore

New Zealand 42-20 Scotland
AIA Arena, Kutaisi

The Baby Blacks responded to the disappointment of missing out on last year's semi-finals for the first time by getting a win in their first hit-out against Scotland.

Tima Faingaanuku finished with a hat-trick for New Zealand, completing his treble in the final minutes of the contest thanks to a pinpoint cross-field kick, as his side finished with six tries.

The win struck in the second minute for his first try, converted by Tiaan Falcon who finished with 12 points, but Scotland hit back through Fraser Renwick. Tries from Asafo Aumua and a second for Faingaanuku meant that New Zealand were ahead 19-10 at the break.

Connor Eastgate's penalty closed the gap before New Zealand moved clear thanks to a Falcon penalty and try from Dalton Papali'i. Orbyn Leger then crossed to open the gap up to 37-13.

And although Scotland hit back with a superb score from Josh Henderson, it was the five-time champions who had the final say when Faingaanuku went over for his hat-trick late on.

The scorers:

For New Zealand U20:
Tries: Faingaanuku 3, Aumua, Papali'i, Leger
Cons: Falcon 3
Pens: Falcon 2

For Scotland U20:
Tries: Renwick, Graham, Henderson
Con: Henderson
Pen: Eastgate

New Zealand U20: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Josh McKay, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Orbyn Leger, 11 Tima Faingaanuku, 10 Tiaan Falcon, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Luke Jacobson (c), 7 Tom Christie, 6 Dalton Papali'i, 5 Samuel Slade, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Ryan Coxon, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Ezekiel Lindenmuth
Replacements: 16 John (JP) Sauni, 17 Tim Farrell, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Sam Caird, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tuu, 21 Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, 22 Thomas Umaga Jensen, 23 Caleb Clarke

Scotland U20: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Lewis Berg, 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Ross McCann, 10 Connor Eastgate, 9 Charlie Shiel, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Thomas Gordon, 6 Luke Crosbie, 5 Callum Hunter-Hill (c), 4 Alex Craig, 3 Fergus Bradbury, 2 Fraser Renwick, 1 George Thornton
Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Ross Dunbar, 18 Adam Nicol, 19 Bruce Flockhart, 20 Tom Dodd, 21 Ruaridh Dawson, 22 Josh Henderson, 23 Robbie Nairn

Ireland 21-22 Italy
AIA Arena, Kutaisi

Italy secured a last-gasp 22-21 victory over Ireland on the opening day of World Rugby's U20 Championship in a thriller of a game in Kutaisi.

Tries from Marco Riccioni, Jacopo Bianchi and Massimo Cioffi proved too much for Ireland who scored through a brace from Calvin Nash. Italy dominated the first-half much to the surprise of everyone and took a 15-3 lead in to the interval.

But Ireland came out firing at the beginning of the second-half and were leading 21-15 until Cioffi's last-gasp try. Conor Dean had a chance to steal the match but missed a penalty on the full-time whistle.

The Italians showed excellent line speed on defence and an effective rush defence to stifle Irish attacks. Their ploy was to counter-attack and they did so expertly.

Italy's first came from an unstoppable driving maul in which skipper Riccioni crashed over. Rizzi was the creator-in-chief for the second, his chip and chase collected by Cioffi who offloaded to Bianchi to crash over. 

Nash's first came from Irish turnover ball and his second came from a driving maul as Italy were once again exposed out wide as they committed to many players.

But Cioffi would have the last laugh after an excellent line break from Marco Zanon who put away his outside back to cruise over.

The drama still had a twist in the tale as Italy gave away an almost costly penalty when all they had to do was keep hold of the ball. But much to their relief, Conor Dean missed from the tee in a dramatic finale.

The scorers:

For Ireland:
Tries: Nash 2
Con: Dean 
Pens: Dean 3

For Italy:
Tries: Riccioni, Bianchi, Cioffi
Cons: Rizzi 2
Drop Goal: Rizzi

Ireland: 15 Jack Kelly, 14 Colm Hogan, 13 Gavin Mullin, 12 Ciaran Frawley, 11 Calvin Nash, 10 Conor Dean, 9 Jonny Stewart, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 Paul Boyle (c), 6 Marcus Rea, 5 Oisin Dowling, 4 Fineen Wycherley, 3 Charlie Connolly, 2 Diarmuid Barron, 1 Joey Conway
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Greg McGrath, 18 Peter Cooper, 19 Jack Regan, 20 Sean Masterson, 21 Jack Stafford, 22 Angus Curtis, 23 Alan Tynan

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

South Africa 23-23 France
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi

Juarno Augustus's desperately late try snatched a 23-23 draw for the Baby Boks against France in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

Augustus handed the Baby Boks a fast start when he went over in the first minute, converted by Sharks star Curwin Bosch, and once the fly-half had added a penalty South Africa held a commanding lead at 10-0.

That soon changed however Romain Buros scored from a charge down, cutting the gap to five points, and two yellow cards for Wandisile Simelane and Gerhard Steenekamp threw South Africa off their game.

Florian Dufour's converted try put France ahead for the first time at 12-10, and they took that advantage into half-time.

Bosch's penalty closed the gap but Ntamack, who was struggling off the kicking tee, knocked over two quick drop goals to give France a 23-13 lead early in the second half after Baptiste Couilloud's try.

Struggling for momentum, Bosch did land another penalty to put his side within a converted try of France, before a late onslaught which came off two minutes into overtime when Augustus crashed over from close range.

The scorers:

For South Africa U20:
Tries: Augustus 2
Cons: Bosch 2
Pens: Bosch 3
Yellow Cards: Simelane, Steenekamp

For France U20:
Tries: Buros, Dufour, Couilloud
Con: Ntamack
Drop Goals: Ntamack 2
Yellow Card: Pesenti

South Africa U20: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 David Brits, 11 Wandisile Simelane, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn (c), 6 Zain Davids, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Carl%u0171 Sadie, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp
Replacements: 16 Kwenzo Blose, 17 Daniel Jooste, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Francois de Villiers, 22 Damian Willemse, 23 Gianni Lombard (Xerox Golden Lions)

France U20: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Lucas Tauzin, 13 Nathan Decron, 12 Pablo Uberti, 11 Faraj Fartass, 10 Romain Ntamack, 0 Baptiste Couilloud, 8 Hassane Kolingar, 7 Florian Dufour, 6 Zakaria el Fakir, 5 Florian Verhaeghe (c), 4 Mickaël Capelli, 3 Dylan Cretin, 2 Baptiste Pesenti, 1 Charlie Francoz
Replacements: 16 Ugo Boniface, 17 Peato Mauvaka, 18 Daniel Brennan, 19 Alexandre Roumat, 20 Ibrahim Diallo, 21 Arthur Coville, 22 Mathieu Jalibert, 23 Geoffrey Cros

Georgia 26-37 Argentina
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi

Argentina claimed a 37-26 victory over Georgia on the opening day of  World Rugby's U20 Championship in Tbilisi.

Argentine tries from Marcos Kremer, Juan Luis Gonzales, Santiago Ruiz, Bautista Stavile and Matias Sauze proved too much for Georgia who scored through tries from Giorgi Kveseladze and  Ushangi Tcheishvili.

The Argentines were more enterprising on attack whilst the Georgians' attacking play was a little too laborious. 

However, the Georgians did dominate the scrums and showed their ability at the set-piece with extremely strong rolling mauls, two of which led to tries.

They were punished, though, for missing too many tackles and the Argentines were not going to let them get away with that. This was evident in early tries from big men Kremer and Gonzales who easily bashed their attempted tacklers out the way.

Ruiz and Suaze's tries were more poetic as both weaved their way through the Georgian defence with mazy runs. Suaze had a wonderful game from the scrum-half position for the Argentines and is one to watch for the future.

The Georgians didn't score in the first half but got their tries late on when one felt the Argentines had the game already in the bag. 

The scorers:

For Georgia:
Tries: Kveseladze, Tcheishvili
Cons: Aprasidze, Gogoladze
Pens: Aprasidze 4

For Argentina:
Tries: Kremer, Gonzáles, Ruiz, Stávile, Sauze
Cons: Albornoz, Daireaux 2
Pens: Albornoz 2

Georgia U20: 15 Miriani Modebadze, 14 Lado Miminoshvili, 13 Bezhani Gavashelishvili, 12 Giorgi Tsiklauri, 11 Davit Meskhi, 10 Teda Abzhandadze, 9 Cela Aprasidze, 8 Arseni Machaladze, 7 Ilia Spanderashvili (c), 6 Giorgi Nutsubidze, 5 Koba Jimsheleishvili, 4 Beka Saghinadze, 3 Lasha Tabidze, 2 Levan Papidze, 1 Guram Gogichashvili
Replacements: 16 Tengiz Zamtaradze, 17 Ushangi Tcheishvili, 18 Guram Papidze, 19 Lasha Jaiani, 20 Tomike Jalagonia, 21 Luka Dvalishvili, 22 Giorgi Gogoladze, 23 Giorgi Kveseladze

Argentina U20: 15 Bautista Delguy, 14 Tomás Malanos, 13 Facundo Ferrario, 12 Teo Castiglioni, 11 Luciano González, 10 Tomás Albornoz, 9 Matías Sauze, 8 Santiago Ruiz, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Bautista Stávile, 5 Lucas Paulos, 4 Franco Molina, 3 Alejandro Luna, 2 José Luiz Gonzáles, 1 Santiago Pullela
Replacements: 16 Leonel Oviedo, 17 Rodrigo Martínez, 18 Jeremías Tarter, 19 Nahuel Milan, 20 Juan Molina, 21 Gonzalo García, 22 Juan Daireaux, 23 Santiago Carreras

Australia 24-17 Wales
Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi

Australia got off to a winning start in a closely-fought battle with Wales in the final game of Day 1, outscoring their opponents by three tries to two.

Cameron Lewis had given Wales the perfect start when his early try was converted by Arwel Robson, before Australia lost winger Simon Kennewell to a yellow card.

But Australia respondewd before the break, Sevens star Henry Hutchison going over with the conversion from Harrison Goddard and a penalty meaning they went in ahead 10-7 at the break.

Wales moved back ahead after Dane Blacker's scored, converted by Robson, Australia hitting back in the 58th minute through prop Harry Johnson-Holmes to reclaim the lead.

With Harry Nucifora's conversion Australia led 17-14, only for Wales to tie it up with a Robson drop goal. That left the contest finely poised at 17-17 before Izaia Perese scored what proved to be the winner in the 79th minute, in a heartbreaking loss for Wales.

The scorers:

For Australia U20:
Hutchison, Johnson-Holmes, Perese
Cons: Goddard, Nucifora 2
Pen: Goddard
Yellow Card: Kennewell

For Wales U20: 
Tries: Lewis, Blacker
Cons: Robson 2
Drop Goal: Robson

Australia U20: 15 Liam McNamara, 14 Henry Hutchison, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Simon Kennewell, 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 Sama Malolo, 18 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 19 Lachlan Swinton, 20 Rob Valetini, 21 Harry Nucifora, 22 Nick Jooste, 23 Semisi Tupou

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