Watch: Jubilant France celebrate after beating Baby Blacks in U20s Rugby World Cup semi-final

The Baby Blacks were brave but ultimately outclassed as they lost to France 16-7 in the semi-final of the under 20s Rugby World Cup in Perpignan, France.

After a nervy start from both sides, the French began to dominate possession with French No.8 Jordan Joseph and tighthead prop Demba Bamba proving to be constant threats as ball runners.

French first five-eighth Louis Carbonel finally turned the dominance into some points with a penalty on 30 minutes.

The home side did miss a golden chance to extend their lead with virtually the last play of the first half when winger Matthis Lebel could not reel in a lovely cross-field kick from Carbonel.

France finally made the pressure count early in the second half with second five-eighth Romain Ntamack crossing for a try after 42 minutes.

As the second half developed, France began to exert their dominance at scrum time, with Carbonel kicking another penalty after 49 minutes

He added another after 63 minutes to give France a 16-0 lead.

The Baby Blacks, who had defended manfully for most of the match, finally came to life with just over 10 minutes left.

First five-eighth Harry Plummer scored after a nice passage before converting his own try to give New Zealand a sniff of victory.

Buoyed by their first try, the Baby Blacks launched a superb break that almost went the full length of the field, but a knock on from reserve hooker Ricky Jackson off the next phase cost New Zealand a second try in quick succession.

The mistake proved costly with New Zealand unable to add any further points despite repeatedly throwing caution to the wind.  

New Zealand will now face off against South Africa for bronze while France will play England after winning through to the final for the first time at this tournament.


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All Black Ofa Tu’ungafasi’s tackle on France's Remy Grosso deemed 'just short of' red card by citing commissioner

All Black prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi's tackle on French winger Remy Grosso in the first Test between New Zealand and France was deemed "just short of" red card level by independent citing commissioner Freek Burger.

As a result, Tu'ungafasi has received a citing commissioner warning for a breach of Law 9.13.

In the opinion of Burger, there were mitigating factors which prevented the conduct from being a red card level red card level.

These included Grosso's low body position lowering as he went into contact with Sam Cane, who affected the tackle initially, immediately before Tu'ungafasi joined a dynamic tackle situation.

No further action was warranted against Cane with the commissioner deeming the on-field  penalty against him to be sufficient punishment.

Grosso suffered two facial fractures in the 59th minute tackle.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen defended Tu’ungafasi after the match, saying the All Black prop did not intend to injure Grosso.

Steve Hansen said Sam Cane and Ofa Tu'ungafasi's tackle on French winger Remmy Grosso was completely accidental. Source: 1 NEWS

 

Tu’ungafasi also took to Twitter to wish Grosso well in his recovery.

France's Remy Grosso (C runs into All Blacks Ofa Tu'ungafasi (L) and Sam Cane (R during the Steinlager Series rugby match between the All Blacks and France at the Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday the 9th of June 2018. Copyright Photo by Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz
France's Remy Grosso was injured in a tackle involving All Blacks Ofa Tu'ungafasi (L) and Sam Cane. Source: Photosport


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Watch: 'That's just what Sam does' - Scott Barrett applauds captain's 'awesome' efforts after coming back from injury

Scott Barrett has heaped praise on stand-in All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock for his ability to lead on the field despite not having played for nearly a month.

Whitelock captained the All Blacks in their 52-11 win over France on Saturday night - his first match after being sidelined for three weeks with a head knock he sustained while playing for the Crusaders.

He also played the entire 80 minutes of the match - an effort Barrett says epitomises the character of the lock.

"Having not played for several weeks, and to nut out 80 that’s just what Sam does," he said.

"I think he’s an awesome leader and he leads with his actions around the field... he’s a valuable player and he’s awesome to play alongside."

Whitelock is captaining the side in Kieran Read's stead for the three-Test series while the No.8 continues to recover from back surgery.

Barrett said Sam Whitelock leads by his actions around the field. Source: 1 NEWS


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