New Zealand Under 20s too good for Fiji in opener

match 1 8

The first quarter was largely acclimation, New Zealand eventually adjusting to the fierce conditions more supremely. 

 

The first try took more than ten minutes to arrive, Crusaders wing Macca Springer caught Fiji napping on the blindside, following earnest industry from the forwards, 

 

Both New Zealand locks were a towering presence, though Fabian Holland would have been disappointed to twice knock the ball over the line.

 

There were no such problems for right wing Nikola Vikena, who carried three tacklers over the paint after half an hour. 

 

From the kick-off, Fiji suffered a calamity, multiple catches calling for the ball, none taking ownership, which allowed halfback Noah Hotham to snaffle and scamper clear.

 

Fiji’s resistance was totally broken at 22-3, the rest of the match largely New Zealand's procession. Hooker George Bell was hardly charismatic but he was brutally efficient, scoring two tries from lineout accuracy. 

 

New Zealand's bench added real zest with Lucas Cashmore (nephew of All Black 954 Adrian Cashmore) throwing a majestic cut out pass to find Wallace Sititi (son of Manu Samoa legend Semo Sititi) unmarked.

 

Replacement halfback Adam Lennox also crossed the stripe and matched the equally vibrant Hotham.

 

Openside Hayden Michaels scrapped with vigour, the New Zealand forwards clinical and industrious.

 

New Zealand’s next assignment is on Tuesday against Argentina, who they beat 40-7 in a four-quarter, hundred minute, warm up fixture last weekend.

 

New Zealand: 74 (George Bell 2, Macca Springer, Nikola Vikena, Noah Hotham, Peter Lakai, Adam Lennox, Wallace Sititi, Jone Rova, Cam Miller, Lucas Cashmore tries; Miller 5 con, pen Lucas Cashmore 3 con) Fiji: 5 (Jope Naseara)

 

2022 Oceania Rugby Under 20 Championship

  

New Zealand v Argentina
Tuesday 5 July, kick off 4pm
Sunshine Coast Stadium

 

New Zealand v Australia
Sunday 10 July, kick off 6pm
Sunshine Coast Stadium

 

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