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U20 Championship Round Up – Usual suspects dominate opening round

The World Rugby U20 Championship began in fine style yesterday, with the range of emotions being played out across the opening fixtures.

We had last minute winners, high scoring two way tussles, some one sided monstrous scores, it was quite a day.

Pool A

Pool A has a real Six Nations feel to it, with England, France, and Wales all grouped together along with Japan.

France and Wales opened the tournament with an excellent game, which saw France lead 12-3 at the break before Wales came out and dominated the second half. However that was not enough as France maintained their nine-point lead, winning 19-10 to take an early lead of the group.

That lead was to be short-lived though as England kicked off against Japan straight afterwards and raced to a 19-0 lead in under ten minutes. That turned into a 59-7 victory for the 2013 and 2014 champions, an impressive start to their defence, however a sloppy second half will have given them plenty to think about. Nevertheless the try bonus point puts England to the top of Pool A.

Pool B

If Pool A has a Six Nations feel, Pool B is far more of a Southern Hemisphere dominated Pool. Australia, Samoa, and South Africa all compete alongside the host nation, Italy.

Australia v Samoa kicked this pool off and the Pacific Islanders put in a superb effort to really challenge Australia. The Australians managed to hold steady though, winning 34-22 and securing the try bonus to boot. It was also a game for the record books as Australian captain Andrew Kellaway became the record try scorer in U20 World Championship history.

Following that came South Africa against the hosts Italy. Playing on home soil clearly inspired the Italians early on as they took the lead, however South Africa came back strongly – as one of only three nations to win this title, it should have come as no surprise. South Africa eventually claimed a 33-5 try bonus point win, topping the group at this early stage on points difference.

Pool C

Pool C is an immensely strong group, with Argentina, Ireland, Scotland, and the four time champions New Zealand all in the same Pool.

It kicked off right at the start of the day’s proceedings with Argentina v Ireland, and what a stunning game it was. The two were incredibly evenly matched, but going into the last play of the game Argentina led Ireland 16-15, having scored a converted try, two penalties, and a drop goal to Ireland’s five penalties from Joey Carberry.

Carberry had later been replaced by Tomas Quinlan though, and with the clock in the red he stepped up for a match winning final kick of the game. Showing nerves of steel the Munsterman slotted the kick, giving Ireland the most dramatic of victories.

The other game saw Scotland face New Zealand in Parma. New Zealand are always an immensely tough prospect at any level, but particularly at U20 level, however Scotland started brightly, getting ten points on the board early on.

That was to prove the extent of it for Scotland though as New Zealand raced away to a stunning nine-try 68-10 victory over the young Scots.

Results:

Tuesday 2nd June:

France 19-10 Wales (Group A)

England 59-7 Japan (Group A)

Australia 34-22 Samoa (Group B)

South Africa 33-5 Italy (Group B)

Ireland 18-16 Argentina (Group C)

New Zealand 68-10 Scotland (Group C)

Standings:

Group A

Pos

Team

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

1

England

1

0

0

5

2

France

1

0

0

4

3

Wales

0

0

1

0

4

Japan

0

0

1

0

Group B

Pos

Team

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

1

South Africa

1

0

0

5

2

Australia

1

0

0

5

3

Samoa

0

0

1

0

4

Italy

0

0

1

0

Group A

Pos

Team

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

1

New Zealand

1

0

0

5

2

Ireland

1

0

0

4

3

Argentina

0

0

1

0

4

Scotland

0

0

1

0

2015 World Rugby U20 Championship Fixtures:

Saturday 6th June:

Ireland v Scotland (Group C) – 15.30

France v Japan (Group A) – 15.30

New Zealand v Argentina (Group C) – 17.30

South Africa v Samoa (Group B) – 17.30

England v Wales (Group A) – 19.30

Australia v Italy (Group B) – 19.30

Wednesday 10th June:

England v France (Group A) – 15.30

Argentina v Scotland (Group C) – 15.30

Wales v Japan (Group A) – 17.30

Samoa v Italy (Group B) – 17.30

New Zealand v Ireland (Group C) – 19.30

South Africa v Australia (Group B) – 19.30

Monday 15th June:

5th Place Semi 1 – 15.30

9th Place Semi 1 – 15.30

9th Place Semi 2 – 17.30

Semi Final 1 – 17.30

5th Place Semi Final 2 – 19.30

Semi Final 2 – 19.30

Saturday 20th June:

11th Place Play off – 10.00

9th Place Play off – 12.00

7th Place Play off – 14.00

5th Place Play off – 15.30

3rd Place Play off – 17.30

Final – 19.30

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