June International Tours

Baby Blacks are the U19 World Champions



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New Zealand won the International Rugby Board’s Under-19 World Championship when they beat South Africa 31-7 in the final at Ravenhill, Belfast. on Saturday evening.

The Baby Blacks were much too good for the Baby Boks and led 17-0 at half-time after running into an early 12-0 lead.

Australia, the 2006 champions, edged Wales to win third place.

Match details and reports are from the IRB.

Division A results of the final day:

11/12th: Fiji 60 – 12 Japan, 60-12
9/10th: Ireland vs Scotland, 34-0
7/8th: Samoa vs Argentina, 13-12
5/6th: France vs England, 43-17
3rd/4th: Australia vs Wales, 25-21
1st/2nd: New Zealand vs South Africa, 31-7

Final standing:

1 New Zealand
2 South Africa
3 Australia
4 Wales
5 France
6 England
7 Samoa
8 Argentina
9 Ireland
10 Scotland
11 Fiji
12 Japan

New Zealand vs South Africa, 31-7

New Zealand nullified the powerful South African pack with a mouth-watering display of attacking rugby to triumph 31-7 at Ravenhill to reclaim the IRB Under-19 World Championship crown they last won in 2004.

The final began at a frenetic pace with New Zealand clearly fired up after their performance of the Haka and determined to avoid a third successive IRB Under-19 World Championship runners-up medal.

New Zealand’s high intensity level was rewarded with two tries in the opening seven minutes to stun the 2005 champions, the first from Robert Fruean after good work from Zach Guildford enabled the centre to find the gap in the South African defence.

Trent Renata saw his conversion drift wide of the uprights, but the full back made no mistake with his second from in front of the posts minutes later to convert his own try after a flowing backline move with angled runs involving him, Guildford and Fruean.

Their momentum was halted by a sickening injury to centre Ryan Crotty, which held up play for several minutes and silenced the near capacity crowd. Crotty fell awkwardly in the tackle, his left ankle collapsing under him as he screamed out in pain on the floor.

Crotty departed on a stretcher with a few words from captain Chris Smith and the desire to win the title for their injured team-mate seemed a heavy burden at times, although a fantastic break by flank Peter Saili saw him stopped five metres shot.

Fruean turned from try-scorer to villain in the 31st minute when the centre was sin-binned by referee James Jones for a late swinging arm on fullback Wilton Pietersen, but he left the field trying to encourage his team-mates to remain strong while a man down.

A sublime cross-field kick by Renata bounced perfectly for Kade Poki, the wing’s chip taken into touch by South African flyhalf Francois Brummer.

Minutes later hooker Ash Dixon came close to scoring, but the television match official Julian Pritchard was unable to determine that the ball had been touched down.

However, New Zealand did not have long to wait for their third try, a perfectly timed cross-field kick from fly half Daniel Kirkpatrick being caught and touched down by the diving Poki for his sixth try of the tournament.

Renata missed the conversion, but 14-man New Zealand still went in leading 17-0 at half-time and South Africa needing a dramatic turnaround in fortunes after the break if they were to reclaim the title they won on home soil in 2005.

The loss of their inspirational captain Gerrit van Velze at half time did not help South Africa’s cause, neither did a missed penalty by centre Stefan Watermeyer in the opening minutes of the second half.

Instead it was New Zealand that scored the first points of the second half, a wonderful dummied pass inside to Renata by hooker Dixon fooling the defence and allowing him to charge for the line, before slipping the pass inside to the supporting Renata to score.

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