IRB Under 20 Championship: Play-Offs Preview

The first set of IRB Under 20 Championship fixtures get underway on Tuesday the 12th of June.

The IRB Under 20 Championship is fast approaching its close with the first set of play-offs taking place this Tuesday, 12 June. The two headline clashes will see the Baby Boks square off with the English and the Baby Blacks take on hosts, France.

Wales v Argentina
Stade D'Honneur Du Parc Des Sports Et De L'Amitie

To Win (80 Mins)
Wales 27/20
Draw 20/1

Argentina 6/10

Wales (+3.5) 17/20
(-3.5) 17/20

Wales and Argentina will get us underway this Tuesday. The Argentines blew their shot of making the semi-finals as they went down 30-26 to the Italians in the final set of pool fixtures. The Welsh were also unable to make the semi-finals despite winning two of their pool games. The most recent of their victories was an 18-17 win over a dogged Japanese outfit.

Verdict: Argentina (-3.5) 17/20
The Argentines are a good side when in sync and I can see them getting their act together against the Welsh to clear a modest handicap.


Ireland v Scotland
Stade Aime-Giral

To Win (80 Mins)
Ireland 7/20
Draw 22/1
Scotland 22/10

Ireland (-7.5) 17/20
Scotland (+7.5) 17/20

Next up is an all Six Nations affair with the Irish taking on the Scots. The Irish head into this one off the back of three losses as they went down to France, South Africa, and Georgia during the pool phase. The 'Scots also failed to win a game during the pool phase going down to Italy, Argentina and England.

Verdict: Scotland 22/10
Ireland edged the 2018 Under 20 Six Nations game between the sides 25-20. I expect a similarly close scoreline but with the Scots ending up as victors.


Italy v Australia
Stade D'Honneur Du Parc Des Sports Et De L'Amitie

To Win (80 Mins)
Italy 24/10
Draw 22/1
Australia 1/3

Italy (+7.5) 17/20
Australia  (-7.5) 17/20

The 16:30 kick sees a plucky Italian outfit take on a solid Australian side. The Italians impressed during the pool phase beating both Argentina and Scotland, with their only defeat coming at the hands of the English. The Australians only managed to win one of their three fixtures as they hammered Japan and went down to Wales and New Zealand.

Verdict: Italy (+7.5) 17/20
The Italians should be able to stay in a rather large handicap here. They're a dogged side and I don't think the Australians will be able to put them away. 


Georgia v Japan
Stade Aime-Giral

To Win (80 Mins)
Georgia 1/7
Draw 33/1

Japan 9/2

Georgia (-15.5) 17/20
Japan (+15.5) 17/20

The battle to avoid the wooden spoon play-off will be well and truly underway when Georgia meet Japan this Tuesday. The Georgians proved a handy side to follow, staying within the handicap during all three of their pool phase fixtures. The Japanese have been slightly less impressive but they did manage to run the Welsh close during the final round of pool phase fixtures as they went down by a solitary point.

Verdict: Georgia (-15.5) 7/20
I can't see this Japanese side able to live with the heavyweight Georgian pack. My money is firmly on the Georgians clearing the handicap. 


England v South Africa
Stade D'Honneur Du Parc Des Sports Et De L'A

To Win (80 Mins)
England 1/4
Draw 22/1
South Africa 3/1

England (-9.5) 17/20
South Africa 
(+9.5) 17/20

The Baby Boks will look to bounce back from their rather embarrassing defeat at the hands of the French when they take on the unbeaten English. The South Africans endured a rather poor pool phase going down to the French by 17 points and edging Georgia by six points. They did beat the Irish by a comfortable margin but it was mainly due to a late second-half blitz.

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Verdict: England (-9.5) 17/20
This South African side seems a cobbled together outfit and are desperately lacking a real physical presence in midfield. I can't see this solid English side having any troubles surpassing the handicap.


New Zealand v France
Stade Aime-Giral

To Win (80 Mins)
New Zealand 4/10

Draw 22/1
France 2/1

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

The last of Tuesday night's fixtures should be a cracker with the attacking French taking on the clinical New Zealanders. Both sides head into this one off the back of three victories with New Zealand beating Wales, Australia, and Japan - while the French saw off South Africa, Georgia, and Ireland.

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Verdict: New Zealand (-7.5) 17/20
This will be an end-to-end game which will suit the New Zealanders down to a tee. My money is on the Baby Blacks' superior fitness levels seeing them past the handicap.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets.

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