New Zealand narrowly escape shock defeat at U20 Championship

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new zealand rugby

 

New Zealand remain unbeaten at the World Rugby U20 Championship, but only after escaping with a slender victory over Argentina on Saturday in northern Italy.

The 32-29 win over a hugely passionate and committed Los Pumitas means the Kiwis face a Pool C winner-takes-all showdown with Ireland on Wednesday.

England, who beat neighbours Wales 30-16, are on top of Pool A after the second day of action in Italy, while South Africa lead Pool B after out-muscling Samoa 40-8 in Parma.

Ireland won’t be content with their performance despite beating Scotland 24-20, while France scored seven tries to claim victory over Japan, 47-7. Australia survived an early scare to defeat hosts Italy, 31-15.

With teams forced to deal with the searing heat of the Italian summer in Calvisano and Parma, water-breaks were necessary on day two of the tournament, which saw large crowds gather in both venues.

The tragic death of former All Black Jerry Collins and his wife was marked atSaturday’s matches, with a moment of silence held before the start of both the New Zealand match in Calvisano and the Samoa match in Parma.

The action takes place in Viadana and Calvisano on Wednesday next, 10 June, which also marks Keep Rugby Clean day at the annual tournament.

The world of social media has been buzzing during the U20 Championship in Italy, with players, coaches and fans all showing their support, using the hashtag #WorldRugbyU20s

This year’s tournament is on course to be the biggest ever in terms of social engagement with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google +, YouTube and Vine all playing major roles in giving the U20 Championship more exposure than ever before.

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