The semi final stage of the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championships certainly lived up to expectations as we were treated to some thrilling games of rugby.
England and Ireland both reached the final, which takes place on Saturday at 19.00 at the AJ Bell. It will be England’s 4th final in a row, having won it in 2013 and 2014 and been runners up in 2015. For Ireland, meanwhile, it is a first in their history.
Both sides deserved their victories though, Ireland were simply sublime against Argentina, winning 37-7 (see report here) and tremendous way to back up their superb group display that saw them beat New Zealand, Wales, and Georgia.
England were equally impressive, turning in their best performance of the season to beat South Africa 39-17 (see report here). They flew out of the traps, going 12-0 up after 6 minutes, but Martin Haag’s side will already be thinking about Saturday and Ireland. For both sides this job is far from done.
Of course the U20 World Championships ensure that every place is given, so Argentina and South Africa will meet in the 3rd place play off.
There are also 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th place play offs, and those semi finals also took place today.
For the 5th-8th place semi finals we had two games that saw teams who had played in the group stages pitted together.
Wales almost beat New Zealand last week, eventually going down 18-17, but they were hammered at the Manchester City Academy Stadium today, losing 71-12 to a Baby Blacks side with a point to prove after a disappointing group stage.
They will face Australia in the 5th place play off after Scotland could not recreate the heroics of their Group stage win over the same opponents, losing 35-19. Scotland and Wales will meet in the 7th place play off.
9th place will be contested by Georgia and France, after Georgia, who host next year’s tournament, picked up their first win, 18-17 over Italy. France meanwhile beat Japan for the second time in a week, winning 41-27. Japan and Italy will meet in the 11th place play off, the loser of which will be relegated to the U20 Trophy next season, with this year’s winners, Samoa, being promoted.
All six finals take place on Saturday, with 7th, 9th and 11th at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, while 5th, 3rd, and the main final will take place at the AJ Bell. The main final, England v Ireland, will kick off at 19.00 and will be live on Sky Sports.
World Rugby U20 Championship Semi Final Results:
Ireland 37-7 Argentina
England 39-17 South Africa
5th-8th Semi Finals
New Zealand 71-12 Wales
Scotland 19-35 Australia
9th-12th Semi Finals
Georgia 18-17 Italy
France 41-27 Japan
World Rugby U20 Championship Finals Day Fixtures:
Saturday 25th June
Final – Ireland v England – 19.00, AJ Bell Stadium
3rd Place Play-Off – Argentina v South Africa – 16.45, AJ Bell Stadium
5th Place Play-Off – New Zealand v Australia – 14.30, AJ Bell Stadium
7th Place Play-Off – Wales v Scotland– 16.30, Manchester City Academy Stadium
9th Place Play-Off – Georgia v France– 14.15, Manchester City Academy Stadium
11th Place Play-Off – Italy v Japan – 12.00, Manchester City Academy Stadium
|World Rugby U20 Championship – Pool A Final Standings|
|World Rugby U20 Championship – Pool B Final Standings|
|World Rugby U20 Championship – Pool C Final Standings|