IRB Under 20 Championship: New Zealand v France Preview



France take on reigning World Rugby U20 Champion's New Zealand in the second of Tuesday's semi-finals, 12 June. 

Both teams' senior sides went at it hammer and tong last Saturday and now the French and New Zealand young guns will square off on Tuesday. The tournament hosts come into this one as heavy underdogs with the 'books but this young French side proved they are capable of mixing it with the best as they took the Junior 'Boks to task last Thursday.

New Zealand v France
Tuesday 12 June
Stade Aime-Giral
21:00


To Win (80 Mins)
New Zealand 4/10
Draw 22/1
France 2/1

Handicap
New Zealand (-7.5) 9/10
France (+7.5) 9/10

New Zealand
The reigning champions have once again been a cut above the rest - scoring the most tries and points during the pool phase of the tournament. The Baby Blacks topped their pool with consummate ease beating Japan 67-0 in their opener, Wales 42-10 in their second fixture, and Australia 27-18 in their final pool phase game.

The New Zealanders are absolutely spectacular on attack but they showed doggedness on defence against the Aussies last Thursday only allowing a fired-up Junior Wallabies side to score a solitary try. The same defensive intensity is required against a French side that has shown a lot of quality when on attack.

France
This young French side has impressed thus far. They play an exhilarating brand of rugby and are not scared to run the ball from deep within their own half. Like New Zealand, they were undefeated during the pool phase beating Ireland by two points in their opener, Georgia by 12 points in their second, and South Africa by 17 points in their final pool game.

The French will look to use their big midfielders and loosies to punch holes in the Kiwis defence. Also, they'll look for the counter-attack as much as possible, so any wayward kick by the Kiwis is likely to result in the French back three having a crack.

Verdict: New Zealand (-7.5) 9/10
I can see the Kiwis clearing this against a competent yet far weaker French outfit.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets.

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