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NZU20 suffer first loss in four years

James Mortimer     09 Jun 2012    

Danie Craven Stadium was witness to horrific conditions, with the Australian Under-20 team losing 15-3 to Argentina, and with a chopped up pitch the defending champions expansive game struggled to kick into gear.

With a weight of possession to their name, New Zealand continually attacked the Welsh line, but despite the Junior Red Dragons making over three times the tackles, were able to restrict the Baby Blacks to their lowest ever score registered in four years at the tournament.

It is a stunning turnaround for Wales, who will play Samoa for the right to top the pool, after they were defeated 92-0 by New Zealand last year.

Wales captain Kirby Myhill and his team celebrated like they had already won the title.

"It's an honour just be captain, to play against New Zealand one of the best teams in the world, it's an amazing feeling," he said.

"New Zealand are an amazing team but we were never going to lose, it meant so much to us after last year when we lost 92-0. That was a big loss, we wanted prove a point and I think we did that.

"They have never lost in four years, that says what a great team they are and shows how well we played - we cannot take anything away from the boys, it was amazing."

New Zealand captain Bryn Hall was down after the defeat, with only two Scott Eade penalties giving the defending champions impact on the scoreboard.

"Very disappopinted, we have to recover very quickly, we have a four day turn around to come and we have to train very hard and be ready for Fiji," Hall said.

"We have to play very well against Fiji, get our composure, bring back out set piece and hopefully it will go better than tonight.

"We didn't play the way we wanted to unfortunately but the Welsh played with a lot of pride and passion and did their country proud. We didn't get the result we wanted and we have to front up now against Fiji. We need to stick to our pattern, with the weather we lost our composure in the tight moments and not having solutions when we come up against problems."

New Zealand coach Rob Penney felt that his team were their worst enemies in difficult conditions.

"We are very disappointed with the result, the effort and energy was there but not the accuracy," the former Canterbury coach said.

"Our game management was poor and the Welsh made us suffer for that. The boys are desperately keen to do well, you will never see a New Zealand team lie down and I didn't feel we were beaten - we were on the scoreboard but we got into positions but it just didn't happen for us.

"That's a real possibility (for us to still reach the semi finals), we got to re-group, review and improve on the things we didn't do well. The boys are heartbroken at the moment, they must get up, we have another job to do in four or five days so we look forward to that."