New Zealand U20s 63 (Will Jordan 3, Tom Christie 2 Ryan Coxon, Orbyn leger, Dalton Papalii, tries; Tiaan Falcon 3 pen, Falcon 5 con; Ciarahn Matoe 2 con) beat Fiji U20s 3 (Viliame Botitu pen). Halftime: 35-0
The New Zealand U20s opened their Under 20 Oceania Tournament on the Gold Coast with a comfortable 63-3 win over the Fijian U20s this evening.
In windy conditions, New Zealand outscored the Fijians 8 tries to nil, fullback Will Jordan crossing for a hat-trick and starting first five-eighth Tiaan Falcon kicking 19 points.
Playing with the aid of the strong wind, New Zealand scored four tries and sailed to a 35-0 halftime lead.
New Zealand were far too clinical for the Fijians, who had their moments but their own unforced errors combined with the excellent work at the break down by all three New Zealand loose forwards, Captain Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii and enegetic Tom Christie, proved telling.
Starting halfback Kemara Hauiti Parapara gave good, crisp service to the backs, with Falcon’s general kicking in the first half also a feature and right wing Tima Faingaanuku making several strong thrusts.
Flyhalf Falcon opened the game’s scoring with a penalty, after some incisive phase play up into the Fijian 22 with centre Tamati Tui and blindside flanker Papalii prominent.
Tua and second five-eighth Orbyn Leger created more impetus, leading to a second penalty for Falcon and a 6-0 lead.
After a sweeping raid up-field, Papalii offloaded a pass in the corner to right wing Faingaanuku who was bundled into touch.
From the next lineout, lock Jacob Pierce secured clean ball off the top and offloaded to a rampaging Papalii who was brought down just short of the chalk. But prop Ryan Coxon crossed from the next ruck, Falcon converted from out wide and New Zealand now led 13-0 after as many minutes.
Falcon made it three from three with his third penalty, extending the lead to 16-0.
The forwards got a roll on up into the 22 after a lineout steal by lock Sam Slade. Captain Jacobson went close to scoring, before the ball was ripped out to Leger who crossed over to score the second try. Falcon added the extras to extend the lead to 23-0.
A turnover from 60 metres out and a nice run up the far side by fullback Will Jordan almost set up a third try on the near side to left wing Jona Nareki but he was snaffled into touch in the corner.
However, the Fijian blindside flanker, Samisoni Rabuka, was handed 10 minutes in the sin-bin during the build-up and New Zealand attacked from a scrum in prime position, leading directly to a try to fullback Jordan. Falcon maintained his 100 percent kicking record, advancing the score to 30-0.
New Zealand finished off the first half by running back a Fijian clearing kick from halfway and almost scoring near the posts. Fiji turned the ball over but their exit play picked out Falcon in mid-field who set up another attacking play, leading to Papalii crossing in the corner.
Fiji made a horror start to the second half, throwing a wild exit pass near their line and handing New Zealand an attacking 5-metre scrum. Going wide, Leger threw a nice cut out pass to Jordan and he cruised in to score his brace. Falcon’s conversion put New Zealand up 42-0.
Right wing Faingaanuku injected himself into the backline from a lineout, setting up a third try to Jordan in the far corner. Falcon nailed the sideline conversion into the wind, making it 49-0.
New Zealand rang the changes off the bench, ahead of Fiji embarking on their best period of the contest thus far and flyhalf Viliame Botitu kicked a penalty for their first, and only, points.
New Zealand weathered a strong period of Fijian attack, twice turning the ball over on their own line. Regaining momentum, they kicked into the corner from a penalty on halfway and went to work again. Tom Christie crossed to score from a subsequent scrum.
Flanker Christie was on in good support to score his second try with a few minutes remaining.
New Zealand’s next match in the tournament is on Tuesday against Samoa, followed by their third game against Australia next Saturday.