The New Zealand Under 20 team have opened their 2019 account with a 45-13 win over Georgia at the World Rugby Under 20 Championships in Argentina this morning.
Billed to be a fierce forward encounter the New Zealand Under 20 team stood up to their powerful opponents absorbing plenty of early pressure.
While Georgia opened the scoring with a penalty it was New Zealand that crossed the try line first. An organised display in their first real attacking opportunity resulted in a try for lock Taine Plumtree.
An acrobatic effort from Kohan Herbert and strong showing from Dallas McLeod added two further tries to the score card and saw the New Zealand Under 20s lead 19-6 at the break.
Georgia got within six points of the lead when going over for the opening try of the second spell but it was one way traffic after that point.
The New Zealand Under 20s ran in four second half tries; Leicester Faingaanuku, Quinn Tupaea, George Dyer and Jeriah Mua all crossing for five pointers.
Captain Kianu Kereru Symes paid credit to the hard working Georgian side.
“We knew they were going to bring it and they definitely did. We kept our intensity up and stepped it up another level when our replacements came on and that’s a real positive for us.
“We are happy with how we played but there is plenty to work on so that’s a good start for us. We’ll flush this result and move onto the next one,” said Kereru Symes.
The win sees the New Zealand Under 20s top Pool C courtesy of points difference, their next match is against Scotland on Sunday morning.
New Zealand 45 (Taine Plumtree, Kohan Herbert, Dallas McLeod, Leicester Faingaanuku, Quinn Tupaea, George Dyer, Jeriah Mua tries, Rivez Reihana 5 con)
New Zealand Under 20 schedule (matches will be broadcast live on Spark Sport, times listed in NZT)
New Zealand 54 v Georgia 13
Wednesday 5 June, 4am
New Zealand v Scotland
Sunday 9 June, 6.30am
New Zealand v South Africa
Thursday 13 June, 6.30am