The Junior World Championships got underway in the beautiful Cape earlier this week with a few heavy defeats, and one or two big upsets. Below are highlights of all six Under-20 matches. The next round takes place on Friday.
The opening day of play produced 46 tries, with plenty of attacking rugby. Things went to script for the most part, although some of the heavy scores showed how lopsided things can be at this level at times. The upset games were as competitive as ever though.
New Zealand 63-0 Samoa
While many expected New Zealand’s junior team to be powerful, I don’t think anyone could have predicted the way they demolished Samoa. They’re after a fifth successive title, and have shown that they’ve got the incredients and know how to do so.
Australia 67-12 Scotland
The junior Scotland side weren’t able to get one over Australia, as the young Wallabies ran riot, scoring 11 tries in the process. Their Super Rugby experience seemed to prove the difference between the two sides.
Wales 44-18 Fiji
Wales are going through somewhat of a rugby resurgence at all levels at the moment, and their junior side showed their depth, with young Matthew Morgan proving a central figure in their big win over Fiji. They were trailing at halftime, but Morgan scored a try and kicked the points asked of him.
England 64-5 Italy
London Irish winger Marland Yarde scored two tries as England ran in nine in total, proving too strong for their Italian counterparts in Pool B. They will face stiffer opposition in Cape Town on Friday, as they take on the recently victorious Ireland side.
South Africa 19-23 Ireland
In what was possibly the biggest upset of the day, the young Ireland team took on the hosts and beat them in muddy conditions in Stellenbosch. The home side bosted some talented young players, including those with Super Rugby experience, but the Irish outmuscled them up front, looked the more passionate group, and made few errors.
France 15-18 Argentina
The second big upset of the day as Argentina beat last year’s semi finalists France, who led 15-5 at halftime. A try from Juan Cappiello and the kicking of Sebastian Poet resulted in a famous win. Argentina play Australia next, on Friday.
Baby Blacks wing Milford Keresoma scored the only hat-trick, while Australia scored the most tries, 11. Welshman Jack Dixon became the youngest ever player at the tournament at the age of just 17. He turns 18 in December. New Zealand are now unbeaten in 21 JWC matches.
View highlights of every match in the playlist below. Hit play once, or use the navigation controls