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NZ charge into under-20 world champs final

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/06/2017

New Zealand did the damage early to beat France 39-26 and book a place in the final at the under-20 world championships in Georgia.

In an entertaining semi-final in Tbilisi, the Baby Blacks outscored the French five tries to four to set up a final against defending champions England.

The English endured a stiffer journey to the decider on Sunday, needing a try five minutes from time to beat South Africa 24-22.

There was no such stress for five-time champions New Zealand, who were 22-0 ahead inside 24 minutes and increased that to 36-0 when hooker Asafo Aumua crossed soon after halftime.

The first-half tries went to fullback Will Jordan, first five-eighth Tiaan Falcon, flanker Dalton Papalii and winger Caleb Clarke as the Baby Blacks impressed with their speed and enterprise.

France scored all their points during a 20-minute purple patch midway through the second spell.

Falcon, who notched 19 points, ensured no late jitters with his second penalty in the closing stages.

Between them, New Zealand and England have won eight of the nine world titles.

The Baby Blacks have scored 31 tournament tries, to 20 from the English, but the latter boast a superior defence and have faced a more taxing draw.

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