New Zealand U20 vs Scotland U20 , Wed, 31/05/2017 - 10:00

A valiant and energetic display from Scotland U20 wasn’t enough to topple five times champions, New Zealand, in the World Rugby U20 Championship opener  today in Georgia, as the young All Blacks recorded a 42-20 victory in Pool B.

John Dalziel’s charges were in the game throughout and the sides went down the tunnel at the interval with only nine-points separating them on the scoreboard.

However, two tries early in the second-half for the men in black opened up a substantial gap in the scoreline, which proved too great for Scotland to overcome despite some excellent play in both attack and defence.

It didn’t take long for New Zealand to initiate the scoring in a high-octane affair, as wing Tima Faingaanuku slipped down the touchline to score in the corner, with stand-off Tiaan Falcon converting after two minutes.

Following a sting of penalties – all of which where punted into touch – Scotland’s patience brought reward as the pack trundled over the opposition line from a well-worked driving maul and hooker Fraser Renwick touched down for his side’s opening score.  Kinghorn was unable to hit the target with the conversion (5-7).

New Zealand’s reply came through a try from hooker Asafo Aumua, but once again Scotland went back up the other end and showed they were not going to lie down for the opposition.

Another series of penalties and driving followed, before the ball was released to the backs and stand-off Connor Eastgate floated a well-weighted pass out to Darcy Graham on a great line, with the winger scything through the opposition to join his fellow Hawick-man, Renwick, on the scoresheet. The conversion was missed (10-12).

A second try for New Zealand’s powerful wing, Faingaanuku, reopened a seven-point gap, with Falcon’s conversion giving his side a 19-10 lead at the turn.

HALF-TIME | Scotland U20 10 – 19 New Zealand U20

Scotland looked sharp as they re-emerged for the second-half and forced the opposition into committing fouls in the opening exchanges. Eastgate took on kicking duties after the interval and slotted a penalty in 41 minutes to put his side to within six points of the opposition (13-19).

However, Eastgate’s strike was soon nulled as his opposite number, Falcon, struck a penalty just two minutes later before back-row Dalton Papalii added his side’s third try of the game (13-27).

A Scotland error shortly after the restart allowed centre Orbyn Leger to saunter in for an easy score, with Falcon adding the conversion and a penalty six minutes later (13-34).

Scotland were denied a try on 61 minutes as the TMO footage was deemed inconclusive as a driving maul collapsed over the New Zealand line. The chance went begging, but New Zealand were reduced to 14-men in the process as try-scorer Papalii was shown a yellow-card for an offence at the contact.

After a brief lull in the third quarter, Scotland looked rejuvenated with a scintillating break from Ross McCann – who rounded his opposite man and charged 80 minutes up the park – epitomising his side’s attacking intent.

It was the turn of Kinghorn to get the crowd on their feet shortly after as he skipped his way through the broken New Zealand defence and found replacement Josh Henderson with an offload, which allowed the stand-off to race into the corner for a wonderful score. Henderson was met with further applause as he slotted an incredible touchline conversion, adding the extras to his own try (20-37).

A third try from Faingaanuku at the death brought the curtain down on the game, with the New Zealanders finishing up on top after a high-scoring affair.

FULL-TIME | Scotland U20 20 – 42 New Zealand U20

Team lineups

New Zealand U20
Scotland U20


15 Will Jordan
14 Josh McKay
13 Braydon Ennor
12 Orbyn Leger
11 Tima Faingaanuku
10 Tiaan Falcon
9 Ereatara Enari


15 Blair Kinghorn
14 Ross McCann
13 Lewis Berg
12 Stafford McDowall
11 Darcy Graham
10 Connor Eastgate
9 Charlie Shiel


1 Ezekiel Lindenmuth
2 Asafo Aumua
3 Ryan Coxon
4 Isaia Walker-Leawere
5 Samuel Slade
6 Dalton Papalii
7 Tom Christie
8 Luke Jacobson


1 George Thornton
2 Fraser Renwick
3 Fergus Bradbury
4 Alex Craig
5 Callum Hunter-Hill
6 Luke Crosbie
7 Thomas Gordon
8 Matt Fagerson


16 John Sauni
17 Tim Farrell
18 Alex Fidow
19 Sam Caird
20 Marino Mikaele -Tuu
21 Kemara Hauiti-Parapara
22 Thomas Umaga Jensen
23 Caleb Clarke


16 Robbie Smith
17 Ross Dunbar
18 Adam Nicol
19 Bruce Flockhart
20 Tom Dodd
21 Ruaridh Dawson
22 Josh Henderson
23 Robbie Nairn

World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 table

1New Zealand U2011004
2Scotland U20 21104
3Italy U2010101
4Ireland U2000000

World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 latest results

Scotland U20 17 v 16 Italy U20
New Zealand U20 42 v 20 Scotland U20