Junior All Blacks quash Scotland, make semis

BEN STRANG
Last updated 21:33 10/06/2014
Kyle Harris
Getty Images

YOUNG GUN: Kyle Harris makes a break for the Baby Blacks against Scotland.

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Wales did the hard part, then the Baby Blacks did the rest, beating Scotland 54-7 at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe tonight.

The New Zealand Under-20s knew they needed a bonus point victory by a margin of five points or more to progress to the semifinals of the Junior World Championships.

That was after Wales defeated France 13-3 in Pool B, handing the tournament hosts a life line to claim the fourth semifinals berth.

Next up, South Africa. Again

Scotland enjoyed the early possession and territory, but when the rain began to come down hard, so did the New Zealand attack.

Flanker Mitchell Jacobson was over in the 10th minute but was held up by strong Scottish defence, however, there was nothing they could do from the resulting five metre scrum.

Number eight Tom Sanders picked the ball up on the back of a twisting scrum and barged over for New Zealand's first try.

Ben Chalmers' restart for Scotland was called back for his teammates being offside, and that allowed the home team to push forward for try number two.

Half back Josh Renton was quickest to react when a Scottish lineout went astray after 13 minutes, and ran in for a try wide on the left.

Scotland weren't doing themselves any favours with Chalmers' next restart heading out on the full and handing the Baby Blacks more field position.

They did settle a little as the half went on, with New Zealand struggling to get inside the Scottish 22m through strong defence and ball handling errors in the wet weather.

When they did Jacobson finally had his try, driving over after a brief period of pressure on the Scottish line.

Blues pivot and New Zealand captain Simon Hickey took a knock late in the half and shifted out to the wing as he tried to run it off, but was replaced after halftime by Damian McKenzie.

Wing Vince Tavae-Aso also came on for Tauasosi Tuimavave as New Zealand looked to ensure they claimed a fourth try, securing a bonus point.

That fourth try came minutes later, when Kaveinga Finau put a grubber through for Richard Mo'unga to chase.

Mo'unga initially looked to have knocked the ball on while trying to gather, but TMO replays showed the ball came off his knee, allowing Renton to dive on the ball for his second try of the match.

Mo'unga played a firmer role in New Zealand's next try on 57 minutes, popping a delightful inside ball after a scrum to McKenzie.

McKenzie jinked past Scottish fullback Ruairidh Young and dived home.

TJ Faiane added New Zealand's sixth soon after, and then Vince Tavae-Aso added number seven with eight minutes to play.

Scotland got a consolation try at the end when Damien Hoyland intercepted and ran the length of the field to score, but Leon Fukofuka had the final say with a try on the hooter.

South Africa go through to the semifinals as top seeds, ahead of England and Ireland, setting up a replay of their pool match against New Zealand.

The top seeds were given a serious scare by Samoa in their final pool match, trailing the Island side 8-7 with 20 minutes to play, before fighting back to win 21-8.

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England edged Argentina 17-16 in their final pool match, while Ireland go into semifinals on the back of a 38-0 win over Fiji.

Semifinals will be played at North Harbour Stadium on Sunday night.

New Zealand 54 (Josh Renton 2, Tom Sanders, Mitchell Jacobson, Damian McKenzie, TJ Faiane, Vince Tavae-Aso, Leon Fukofuka tries; Richard Mo'unga 5 con, Simon Hickey 2 con) Scotland 7 (Damien Hoyland try; Gavin Lowe con) HT 21-0

- Stuff

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