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Crazy end to France vs All Blacks match as TMO involved in final kick

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Friday Jul 5, 2024

The second round of the 2024 U20s World Championship has come to an end with plenty of thrilling matches and water-tight finishes being the name of the day.

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There were comfortable victories for Wales and Argentina over Spain and South Africa respectively, as they both rebuilt after their first-round defeats, whilst England strolled on once again with a comprehensive victory over Fiji.

Ireland came through by the skin of their teeth as they scored an 82nd-minute try to defeat the impressive Georgia for their second win of the tournament.

Italy downed Australia to resurrect their campaign after a thumping by Ireland last week, putting question marks once again on the future of Australian rugby union.

Evan O’Connell in last week’s match against Italy/Credit: Getty Images

The pick of the round was, however, the titan battle between France and New Zealand.

France led from the fourth minute through to the 80th after an early try from fullback Xan Mousques put Les Blues ahead. From then on, it was a case of chasing the game for the junior All Blacks as France continued to pull ahead whenever it looked like a comeback was on.

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The winning mentally is strong within New Zealand rugby, and yesterday showed just that. With the clock used up, France conceded a penalty in their own half which gave Rico Simpson the opportunity to break French hearts.

This was when it got really interesting. Wrestling with the pressure of the occasion, the kicker veered his nudge off to the right, finally seeing it drift back in towards the posts.

The issue was, however, none of the officials were quite sure whether it had drifted inside the right hand upright or not, so in came the TMO for the most intense 30 seconds of the match as they reviewed the game-deciding footage.

The kick was given, providing the All Blacks with a 26-27 victory over their French rivals.

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The next round takes place on Tuesday the 9th of July streamed exclusively on on RugbyPassTV.

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