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NZ crush Georgia at world junior champs

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/06/2016

Jonah Lowe (L) of New Zealand slips a tackle made by Aleksandre Merkvilishvili of Georgia during the World Rugby U20 Championship match on June 7, 2016 in England. © Clint Hughes/Getty Images Jonah Lowe (L) of New Zealand slips a tackle made by Aleksandre Merkvilishvili of Georgia during the World Rugby U20 Championship match on June 7, 2016 in England. New Zealand have begun the defence of their junior world championship rugby title with a 55-0 drubbing of Georgia in soggy Manchester.

The enterprising New Zealanders defied steady rain to score nine tries, including five in the first half when they led 31-0.

Wingers Caleb Makene and Jonah Lowe grabbed a brace each, capitalising on an expansive game plan, while second five-eighth Jordie Barrett kicked eight points.

Georgia, making their debut at the annual tournament, provided some powerful scrummaging but otherwise created few chances against a team featuring five Super Rugby players in the starting line-up.

Caleb Makene of NZ scores his side's fifth try during the World Rugby U20 Championship match against Georgia. © Clint Hughes/Getty Images Caleb Makene of NZ scores his side's fifth try during the World Rugby U20 Championship match against Georgia.

One of them, Chiefs fullback Shaun Stevenson, crossed in the opening minutes while other tryscorers were halfback Sam Nock, flanker Mitchell Jacobsen and reserves Malo Tuitama and Hapakuki Moala-Liava'a.

New Zealand's next pool game on Saturday is against Ireland, who opened with a 26-25 win over Wales.

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