Brave Baby Blacks outclassed by France in entertaining U20s Rugby World Cup semi-final




New Zealand will play South Africa in the bronze medal match while France will face their old rivals England in the final.

France 16 - 7 Baby Blacks

You can watch all the action live on TVNZ DUKE or here at TVNZ OnDemand.

80 mins: That's fulltime. The Baby Blacks were brave but ultimately they were outclassed. 

78 mins: NZ are awarded a penalty. 

77 mins: NZ with one final throw of the dice from deep inside their 22. The ball ends up deep inside the French 22, but it's a French lineout and they get a penalty. That's probably it.

72 mins: Christie ends up in touch and France win a penalty with a maul. 

71 mins: Wow, what a chance. A superb break saw the Baby Blacks go almost 100m but a knock on from the next phase and all that good work comes undone. 

70 mins: Plummer converts his own try. We're in for a good finish. 

68 mins: NZ on attack and almost in the French 22. They'll need to score now you feel. NZ are in! Plummer finishes it off. They finally score, there's a pulse. 

66 mins: An attempted chip from the French ends up in touch. 

63 mins: The kicker makes no mistake. 16-0 now to France. 

62 mins: Koroi manages to defuse a kick nicely at the back but he's pushed into touch. France with another chance. NZ concede another penalty. France to kick for goal...

The French were completely dominant at scrum time, repeatedly wrecking New Zealand’s set plays.
Source: TVNZ

59 mins: France kick for goal but the attempt falls short. There's still time left but it's hard to see NZ getting back in the match. A promising attack ends as a Baby Black ends up in touch.

58 mins: Think the referee is going to take a look at a potential stomping incident involving one of the NZ players. It was on the arm so it'll just be a penalty against reserve halfback Renton. 

56 mins: NZ win a turnover and they try to counter. Koroi is down injured near the play so it's been halted. 

54 mins: Another scrum penalty against the Baby Blacks and the skipper is being warned about it. To make NZ's task tougher, it's raining. 

52 mins: France destroy NZ's scrum again! The Baby Blacks are staring down the barrel, it must be said. The crowd is also going mental. France to kick for goal again. A bit of respite with the shot going wide. 

50 mins: Carbonel makes no mistake with the kick. NZ now need two converted tries. 

48 mins: France put the heat on at scrum time and NZ can't match them. That really was a sign of their dominance. They'll kick for goal from the resulting penalty. 

47 mins: NZ throw a forward pass after an extended period in possession. There's now three Baby Blacks bench players on, they'll need to make a difference. 

43 mins: France on the other hand have no interest in kicking as they enter the NZ 22 after almost 15 phases. France are in! The Baby Blacks' defence breaks down and Ntamack dots. Down. Successfully converted. 

41 mins: We're back and the one major positive for NZ is that it's only 3-0. NZ build phases after the kick-off before a poor kick. 

40 mins: Wow! A cross kick and the French winger couldn't hang on with the line wide open. That could be a crucial moment. There's time for a lineout before halftime. NZ clear and that's the end of a highly entertaining first half. Although it's only 3-0, NZ have been dominated so there's plenty for them to talk about. 

37 mins: NZ win a penalty and take a quick tap, but it doesn't go all that well. NZ get penalised. It's not often you say this about a NZ team but at this stage you can't see the Baby Blacks winning if it's an open, running game. I think NZ have to play with a lot more control, build phases, maintain possession. 

35 mins: Plummer with a poor offload, France kick quite effectively as it turns out. France on attack again...

32 mins: NZ are struggling to contain France's dynamic ball runners, who are very skilful too. 

31 mins: France back on the attack. The Baby Blacks have won the turnover and they clear. Laporte kicks, poorly. France win a penalty.

30 mins: First points to France. Well deserved too. 

28 mins: NZ hanging in there on their own line. They had turned it over but it's a penalty. Big decision now for France, it's kickable. They'll kick for goal, fair enough too.  

27 mins: The drive is on! The halfback is calling the backs in. France tackled just short! We're going upstairs to see if they've got it down. Scrum for France on the 5m line. 

25 mins: NZ's hooker Thomas scrambles back to cover a kick but France earn a penalty. They really need to turn this dominance into some points. They're going for touch rather than kicking for goal. It is blustery. 

24 mins: France rush up in defence and though they knock on, the pressure is on the Baby Blacks. 

21 mins: France are dominating possession, they've had 63 per cent of the pill so far. 

20 mins: Laporte makes a break and France are on the attack. NZ scrambling well and they win a penalty through Roe. Considering there has been no score it's been very entertaining. 

18 mins: France make a break down the right sideline after a well worked second-man play in midfield. A couple of phases later NZ prop Mafileo gets over the ball and earns a penalty. 

16 mins: NZ make a mess of their first real chance with the set piece move coming unstuck. 

15 mins: Now the Baby Blacks get some possession to go with that territory. NZ lock McWhannell with some nice work to lock the ball in a maul. Excuse the pun. 

13 mins: NZ finally get a little bit of territory with a kick that finds touch on the French 22. 

11 mins: Brilliant work from Roe and Gregory, who held up France's powerhouse No.8 Joseph. NZ scrum. 

10 mins: Roe doesn't produce his best kick for touch from a penalty but at least it found touch. 

7 mins: France knocks on. The line beckoned but there was a Baby Black covering. Nevertheless, France certainly have some power with ball in hand - and they're being roared on by a parochial crowd. 

6 mins: France mauling very effectively after a breakdown penalty. They're just outside NZ's 22. 

3 mins: France's halfback and captain Coville takes a quick tap from a penalty but his kick floats out on the full. A bit of a nervy start from both sides. 

2 mins: NZ win the lineout and then they are awarded a penalty on their 22. 

1 mins: We're off and France have started well but NZ win a turnover only to turn the ball over themselves. Another thing to note is the crowd is loud. 

Preview: New Zealand faces off against the unbeaten host nation, France, with a spot in the final against England (who pipped South Africa 32-31 in the first semi-final).

It should be an enthralling clash with the Baby Blacks were unbeaten in their group after beating Australia 27-18 in their last match while France accounted for Ireland, Georgia, and South Africa in their group.

New Zealand are six-time winners while France have finished fourth in the tournament on three occasions. 


NZ: 1. Xavier Numia - Wellington 2. Flynn Thomas - Southland 3. Tevita Mafileo - Bay of Plenty 4. Laghlan McWhannell - Waikato 5. Will Tucker - Canterbury 6. Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa - Auckland 7. Tom Christie - captain - Canterbury 8. Devan Flanders - Hawke's Bay 9. Xavier Roe - Waikato 10. Harry Plummer - Auckland 11. Caleb Clarke - Auckland 12. Scott Gregory - Northland 13. Billy Proctor - Wellington 14. Bailyn Sullivan - Waikato 15. Vilimoni Koroi - Otago

Reserves: Ricky Jackson - Otago, Sione Asi - Manawatu, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa - Wellington, Will Tremain - Hawke's Bay, Hoskins Sotutu - Auckland, Jay Renton - Southland, Kaleb Trask - Bay of Plenty, Jamie Spowart - Tasman

France (1-15): Jean Baptiste Gros, Guillaume Marchand, Demba Bamba, Killian Geraci, Thomas Lavault, Antonin Berruyer, Cameron Woki, Jordan Joseph, Arthur Coville (c), Louis Carbonel, Matthis Lebel, Romain Ntamack, Pierre Louis Barassi, Lucas Tauzin, Clement Laporte

Reserves: Maxime Lamothe, Ugo Boniface, Daniel Brennan, Pierre-Henri Azagoh, Charlie Francoz, Jules Gimbert, Adrien Seguret, Maxime Marty.

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