New Zealand has regained the Oceania Rugby U20 Championship title for their fifth Championship win, with a 69-12 victory over Australia on the tournament’s final day.
New Zealand def. Australia (69-12)
After losing to Australia in 2019, New Zealand came out strong scoring two tries in the first 10 minutes to lead 14-0.
Australia struggled with the kicking game as New Zealand scrumhalf Noah Hotham scored from a box kick followed by Lucas Cashmore crossing over after a Jone Rova charge down.
Down 26-0 with 10 minutes to play, things got worse for the Aussies when both Jayden Blake and Mason Gordon were sent off minutes within each other, allowing New Zealand to score two more tries immediately after each infringement, ending the half 40-0.
Playing with only 13 men, Australia conceded two more tries to start the second half. New Zealand captain, George Bell, extended the lead to 64 after he scored another two tries to complete his hat trick.
It took the Junior Wallabies just over an hour to score their first try when winger, Darby Lancaster – who made a try-saving tackle earlier in the match – scored on the end of a set play from a scrum.
Ten minutes later, Australia grabbed a second through Adrian Brown after scrumhalf, Teddy Wilson, darted past the ruck, feeding Brown for the score.
The Junior Wallabies looked to have held New Zealand scoreless in the last quarter of the match before Josh Beehre scored with less than two minutes remaining to give New Zealand a 57-point win and their fifth Oceania Rugby U20 title.
Australia finished third after Argentina’s victory against Fiji.
New Zealand (69)
Tries: Bell (3), Beehre, Cashmore, Higgins, Hotham, Sititi, Springer, Te Hiwi, penalty try
Conversions: Cashmore (6) Australia (12)
Tries: Brown, Lancaster
Argentina def. Fiji (61-5)
Los Pumitas are runners-up in their first appearance at the Oceania Rugby U20 Championship after their 61-5 victory over Fiji.
Tomas Suarez Folch opened the scoring for Argentina in the sixth minute with a penalty goal, but it was Fiji who scored the first try of the match when Phillip Baselala intercepted a pass and ran 70 metres downfield five minutes later.
However, Fiji’s lead would only last minutes when an overlap out wide allowed Tomas María Elizalde to cross untouched.
Malakai Nawai was sent off just before the 20-minute mark for a dangerous tackle and Argentina capitalised on the advantage scoring another easy try through Valentin Cabral.
In the final 10 minutes of the half Boris Wenger scored a double, with his second coming after an impressive break from Cabral on halfway.
Fiji was awarded a penalty just before halftime and despite being down 27-5, opted to go for goal. But the distance was too much for fullback, Kevueli Tunidau, with his 45-metre attempt falling 10 metres short.
Argentina scored two more tries in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, including one to captain Mateo Albanese who picked up the ball after Tunidau knocked down a pass on the wing.
As a result, Tunidau escaped a sanction but minutes later Nawai picked up his second yellow card and Cabral scored his second try.
Another Fijian penalty sent Argentina back into the 22 and Justo Piccardo scored after having a try disallowed in the first half.
Repeated infringements on defence saw Saula Qiolevu sent off as Fiji played the last seven minutes with 13, which was too much as Argentina scored their ninth and tenth tries to end the match.
Tries: Albanese, Bartolini, Cabral (2), Elizalde, Piccardo, Sánchez Valarolo, Soler, Wenger (2)
Conversions: Sascaro (2), Suarez Folch (2)
Penalty goals: Suarez Folch
- New Zealand
Article adapted from the Oceania Rugby website.