New Zealand thrash England to win Under 20 World Rugby title in Georgia


England have lost their fifth final to New Zealand in the history of the Under 20 World Championships as the Baby Blacks thumped last year’s champions 64-17 on the back of a hat-trick from hooker Asafo Aumua in Tbilisi.

The result was all but secured by half-time as New Zealand ran in six tries before the break to lead 40-7.

Flanker Dalton Papalii got the scoring underway for the Baby Blacks after the referee failed to spot a knock on from the previous phase. Minutes later Stephen Perofeta — who started at fly-half for the Blues against the British & Irish Lions earlier this month — sliced through England’s defence before Pouri Rakete-Stones crossed the whitewash.

England hit back in the 18th minute as Max Malins’ delayed pass put Ben Earl through a gap to score and reduce New Zealand’s lead to five points.

Earl’s try wasn’t a precursor of things to come as New Zealand upped the tempo. Aumua and Isaia Walker-Leaware scored in quick succession before a lengthy injury delay for Joe Mullins.

The break in the game didn’t disrupt the Baby Blacks’ dominance as Aumua grabbed his second before skipper Luke Jacobson got in on the action as the half-time hooter sounded.

Any signs of an England comeback failed to materialise as replacement winger Josh McKay scored New Zealand’s seventh early in on the second half.

New Zealand’s momentum was thwarted somewhat when Ezekiel Lindenmuth was yellow carded for a late tackle and England made the most of the numerical advantage as Alex Mitchell darted over for a try.

But it mattered little as Aumua stormed his way over for a third to cap off a brilliant performance before Tom Christie joined the party with New Zealand’s ninth of the afternoon.

England’s Josh Bayliss got on the score sheet late but New Zealand skipper Jacobson got the last laugh with his second score to put the icing on a brilliant performance.

In Sunday’s other matches, South Africa followed the Springboks form to beat France 37-15 in the third-place play-off, and as was the case in Sydney on Saturday Scotland stunned Australia 24-17 for fifth place.

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