Home » U20 World Championship: England Beaten In Semi-final
England Featured France Global News Lifestyle News Sports

U20 World Championship: England Beaten In Semi-final

England U20 Men were defeated 52-31 by France in their World Rugby U20 Championship semi final at Athlone Stadium.

Mark Mapletoft’s side started brightly and assumed an early 17-0 lead thanks to brilliant scores from Sam Harris and Alex Wills, and later Chandler Cunningham-South, but were outgunned in the second half. 

They will now play hosts South Africa in the third-place play-off on Friday after Ireland beat the Baby Boks 31-12 in the Sunday’s first semi-final. 

England earlier came racing out the blocks, taking the lead inside five minutes when Louie Johnson knocked over a penalty from just outside the 22 to fire England into an early lead. The good start became a great one on 12 minutes, when Harris finished off a superb team move which began just inside halfway. 

After working the ball wide to Wills, the wing just kept the ball alive with the touchline approaching via a superb offload to Joe Jenkins, who produced a replica to set captain Lewis Chessum charging down the wing. The second row drew the final defender before passing infield to full-back Harris who dived over for a sublime score. 

England’s second came just two minutes later as the backs once again proved too hot to handle. Fly-half Louie Johnson found an intercept in midfield and after a quick pop to Joseph Woodward, the centre spun the ball out to Wills who beat his opposite number for pace before flying over in the corner. 

The breathless start continued as France scored their first points via a Mathis Ferté try on 16 minutes and Les Bleuets were within just three points of England when Paul Costes touched down under the posts with 25 minutes played. 

England restored their ten-point lead on the stroke of half time when No.8 Cunningham-South bulldozed his way over after collecting from a lineout as skipper Chessum notched his second assist.    

France started quicker after the break and were awarded a penalty try after a series of infringements which saw Finn Carnduff shown a yellow card. Captain Lenni Nouchi then powered his way over to give France the lead for the first time on 54 minutes and they added their fifth try moments later when Marko Gazzotti dashed home.  

Oscar Jegou and Hugo Reus both crossed in the closing stages as tired legs told before England grabbed a late consolation through Cassius Cleaves to finish on a positive note ahead of a tussle for third with South Africa. 

Source: Bristol Bears Rugby