A blistering start has earned New Zealand a 67-0 win over Japan in their opening match of the Under-20 World Cup in France this morning.
New Zealand scored five tries in the opening twenty minutes and wing Jamie Spowart was denied in the 17th minute following a forward pass from a lineout.
Japan initially appeared to be frightened of Leicester Faingaanuku. The former Nelson College wing broke at will in the first quarter and created the Kiwis maiden try after only 52 seconds, bursting down the left-edge and offloading to supporting lock Will Tucker.
Faingaanuku would soon find himself on the scoresheet, finishing acrobatically after halfback Xavier Roe caught Japan napping down the short side. The same combination engineered New Zealand’s fourth try with Roe breaking from the back of a lineout at halfway.
Vilimoni Koroi is the most accomplished player in the New Zealand team with extensive experience in internationals sevens. The fullback collected New Zealand’s third try gathering a deft chip kick by first-five Kaleb Trask.
The most impressive individual effort was from centre Bailyn Sullivan who caught a kickoff from inside the 22 and dashed coast to coast, fending off the Japanese fullback with disdain.
Down 29-0, Japan managed to keep New Zealand scoreless for the next 17 minutes while being denied a five-pointer themselves at the 26 minute mark. Japan’s strong mauling from lineouts was especially eye catching.
New Zealand went to the interval with a 36-0 lead when captain Tom Christie scored.
The heavens opened making the ball exceptionally greasy in the second-spell. New Zealand committed nearly two dozen handling errors, but still managed to score five tries.
Roe continted his top form. A trademark snipe brought the Hamilton halfback within inches of the line. John Akau'ola-Laula muscled over for the finnish and then Roe illustrated his own muscle by ripping the ball from the grasp of the Japanese No.8 and scampering clear.
Spowart claimed a second-half hat-trick with his second try after an hour a real highlight. New Zealand stretched to both touchilnes and involved almost the entire team in a superior display of skill.
Trask kicked six conversions.
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