Bonus point start for NZ Under-20s

World Rugby

Lynn McConnell     31 May 2017     World Rugby

Drizzle affected the handling skills of both sides but New Zealand made the most of a strong showing through the middle stages of the game to secure their winning advantage. Wing Lotima Faingaanuku used his power and speed to score a hat-trick of tries – the first two minutes into the game and the third on full-time.
They battled with their lineout control but were powerful in the scrum. However, coach Craig Philpott would have been disappointed with the lack of control at re-starts where several times New Zealand failed to secure ball kicked to them.

Captain Luke Jacobson said the side were pleased to come out with a bonus point win but their discipline had let them down and they had conceded too many penalties. They would also need to do some work on their defence of the lineout drive before their next game, on Sunday (NZT) against Italy.

New Zealand made an electric start when from broken play first five-eighths Tiaan Falcon threw a long pass to Faingaanuku who put his powerful fend into effect to move down the sideline to open the scoring.

But Scotland used the power of their lineout, where they brought in giant-sized second five-eighths Stafford McDowall to secure ball which they were quick to rumble towards the line. It took three attempts with New Zealand conceding penalties before Scotland finally put the maul to their advantage with hooker Fraser Renwick scoring.

New Zealand's response was immediate after hooker Asafo Aumua made a strong run down the sideline before the ball was moved back infield. No.8 Luke Jacobson made a strong break from the ruck and the ball was transferred back to the right with a long pass from centre Tamati Tua finding Aumua still patrolling and he scored in the 13th minute.

Scotland unleashed their lineout drive again in the 19th minute and hooker Fraser Renwick crossed on the back of the maul.

However, New Zealand started to take control of possession and from a lineout drive of their own they went close, but it was when they unleashed their scrum power to destroy the Scottish scrum on their line and lock Isaia Walker-Leawere went close to scoring, only to have the TMO find the ball, after an earlier Scotland knock-on, had gone forward off New Zealand flanker Dalton Papali'i's elbow.

It was only a temporary setback as from the resulting scrum, halfback Ereatara Enari ran from the base then fed Faingaanuku, who had come off his blindside wing, for his second try.

Penalty goals were exchanged in the moments after half-time, but the poor takes from the re-starts by New Zealand were finally sorted when a Scottish restart fell short of the 10m line and was taken by Walker-Leawere who set up a ruck. Enari put a clever kick over the maul and good chasing pinned Scotland with the ball and a maul was ruled.

Faingaanuku and Falcon each took the ball over the advantage line and when Falcon was held, he slipped the ball to flanker Papali'i scored New Zealand's fourth try.

Scotland tried to run the ball from their own 22m line but a poor pass from Eastgate rebounded off a team-mate to Falcon and he ran back on the angle into space and passed to second five-eighths Orbyn Leger for a 50th minute try.

Scotland showed what they were capable of in the 65th minute when left wing Ross McCann put his speed to effect down the sideline and it looked a try was certain but New Zealand's defence scrambled and turned the play back downfield. New Zealand were down to 14 with Dalton Papali'i in the sin-bin and Scotland made use of the extra space.

However, Scotland came back when fullback Blair Kinghorn made up for a disappointing display when making a powerful break down the left flank, stretching New Zealand and setting up a chance for replacement wing Josh Henderson who dived in at the corner.

It was a rare showing of something offensive from Scotland other than their over-reliance on the lineout drive.

But New Zealand had the final say with a Falcon cross-kick finding Faingaanuku unmarked and able to take the ball and complete the scoring.

Scorers: NZ Under-20 42 (Lotima Faingaanuku 3, Asafo Aumua, Dalton Papali'i , Orbyn Leger tries; Tiaan Falcon 3 con, 2 pen) Scotland Under-20 20 (Fraser Renwick, Darcy Graham, Josh Henderson tries; Connor Eastgate pen; Henderson con). HT: 19-10