NZ Under 20’s retain Oceania title


NZ Under 20’s retain Oceania title

The New Zealand Under 20s have beaten Australia 43-6 to retain the Oceania title at Bond University on the Gold Coast.

The New Zealand Under 20s were simply too strong, too skillful and too fast. They dominated their rivals in almost every facet and their attack was sublime. New Zealand varied their game, with precise passing out wide matched by sheer power in the tight.

Australia got off to a quicker start in this game. The home side dominated early possession and converted early pressure to lead 3-0.

New Zealand responded positively and started to play with width on attack. After concerted pressure, impressive No.8 Luke Jacobson battered his way through multiple defenders to score near the posts to make it 7-3.

New Zealand continued to pile on the pressure. Tiaan Falcon converted a penalty, then after impressive attacking interplay lock Isaia Walker-Leawere crashed his way over the line to make it 17-3.

After Australia converted their second penalty, New Zealand responded with the try of the match. Fullback Will Jordan picked up a loose pass near the 22, before brilliantly stepping inside two defenders on his way to the try-line. This gave the away side an unassailable 24-6 lead.

Despite their growing lead, New Zealand showed no mercy. A clever offload by Tima Faingaanuku allowed Tamati Tua to score a further try to make it 29-6 at halftime.

Any hope of an Australian fightback was quickly put to rest early in the second half. A strong run and offload from Faingaanuku allowed Tom Christie to score to increase the lead to 36-6.

New Zealand’s reserves added real impact in the latter stages of the second half. Thomas Umaga-Jensen, in particular, was immense with ball in hand.

The away sides final try came in the 60th minute when Jacobson scored his second try. New Zealand’s captain came charging onto the ball, before using his power and fend to score.

Scorers: New Zealand Under 20s 43 (Luke Jacobson 2, Will Jordan, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Tamati Tua, Tom Christie tries; Tiaan Falcon 5 cons, 1 pen)
Australia Under 20s 6 (Harry Nucifora 2 pen)
HT: 29-6


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