16 Jun 2016

NZ fails to make under 20 World Championship semi-finals

9:42 am on 16 June 2016

New Zealand has failed to make the semi-finals of the under-20 Rugby World Championship in England.

NZ under-20 rugby haka

NZ under-20 rugby haka Photo: Photosport

It is the first time New Zealand hasn't reached the last four in the nine-year history of the annual under-20 World Championship.

The New Zealanders finished second in their group behind Ireland, after beating Wales 18-17 in their final pool game in Salford.

Wales jumped out to an early 14-3 lead before the New Zealanders bounced back with tries to halfback Sam Nock and fullback Shaun Stevenson.

The defending champions still needed a penalty from Jordie Barrett in the last minute to claim the win.

The winners of the three pools qualified for the semi-finals, along with the best second-placed team, which was South Africa.

Ireland will play Argentina, and England will play South Africa, in the semi-finals.

New Zealand will now play Wales again in the first of their classification matches for 5th to 8th.