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NZ Under 20 thump Tonga in Oceania opener

Tim Marsden

allblacks.com     27 Apr 2018     Tim Marsden

It was the perfect way for the Craig Philpott-coached side to begin the defence of its Oceania title with games remaining against Fiji on Tuesday and Australia next Saturday.

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New Zealand led 42-0 at halftime and didn’t let up in the second half as they came tantalising close to bringing up 100 points.

Australia was also in great form on their home turf with a 51-5 win over Fiji in the second match of the day at Bond University. The only blemish for Australia came in the 76th minute when Fiji barged over from close range to avoid the donut.

Provided there are no hiccups for either team on Tuesday, the stage is set for a winner takes all clash between the trans-Tasman rivals next Saturday.

With the 2018 World Rugby Under 20 Championship looming large in France in this year, the Oceania tournament will provide great preparation says New Zealand captain Tom Christie.

“We are hoping that this Oceania Rugby tournament will be a build up for us to the World Rugby U20s Championships, just finding out some things about each other and what works best for us as a team,” Christie said.

New Zealand Under 20 are chasing a fourth straight Oceania Under 20 Championship title since the tournament was first played in 2015.

Schedule for Oceania Under 20 Championship:
Friday 27 April v Tonga (New Zealand 97, Tonga 0)
Tuesday 1 May v Fiji, 5.00pm NZT
Saturday 5 May v Australia, 9.00pm NZT

Watch the Oceania Under 20 Championship
All games will be live streamed on www.rugby.com.au and the Oceania Rugby facebook page.