Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

England retain title

England retained their IRB Junior World Championship title with a nail-biting 21-20 victory over South Africa in Friday's final at Eden Park in Auckland.

The defending champions trailed 10-3 after 20 minutes following a try from South Africa back Jesse Kriel but England responded with a brace of scores from Nathan Earle and replacement Joel Conlon to take a 21-13 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.

The Junior Boks reduced the deficit to one point with a second try from Kriel but England held out for the final quarter-of-an-hour - surviving a missed drop-goal from South Africa captain Handre Pollard - to reclaim the trophy they won after beating Wales in France last year.

Gloucester fly-half Billy Burns, who slotted over two penalties and a conversion for England, told Sky Sports 1: "Absolutely buzzing. Obviously that last 20 minutes was real nail-biting and to get through it is a massive achievement and full credit to the boys, we deserved that.

"We've worked hard all campaign, it's been tough but to come through and win something like that at the end of it just shows how hard we've worked, so it's real satisfying."

Burns is the younger brother of Freddie, who will line up for the senior England side in the third Test against New Zealand at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph