9 Jun 2017

New Zealand under 20's into World Championship semi-finals

7:21 am on 9 June 2017

New Zealand has finished top of its group at the under-20 rugby World Championship after beating Ireland 69-3 in their last game in Georgia.

New Zealand led 31-3 at half time.

Caleb Clarke

Caleb Clarke Photo: PHOTOSPORT

They scored 11 tries with fullback Will Jordan and winger Caleb Clarke scoring 3 each.

However they were down to 13 men at one stage in the second half when two players were yellow carded.

New Zealand captain Luke Jacobson was happy with their performance.

"We're really happy to come out and put in a performance like that especially as we still had a lot of hard feelings over what happened last year (the loss to Ireland). That was a tough one to swallow. Defence was a huge focus of ours today and we're delighted to not concede a try. Now our focus is on the big game in front of us."

The Ireland coach Peter Malone said New Zealand were too good.

"Credit to New Zealand, it was a super performance and they fully deserved their victory. We couldn't live with them. We thought we'd try and upset them with our line speed but we didn't. We're disappointed. We thought we'd give it a good crack and might get a bit closer, but it was all about New Zealand today.

New Zealand beat Scotland and Italy in their other pool matches.

New Zealand will play France in the semi-finals, while defending champions England will play South Africa.