We reach the final round of games and there are a couple of big questions to answer. Will Scotland or Fiji be relegated? Can Australia claim their first ever title or will France go back to back? Interestingly Australia’s only other appearance in an U20s Championship was also in Argentina back in 2010. That time they lost to New Zealand 62-17, I think we can count on it being closer than that.
Here is my video with my World Rugby U20s Championship Semi Final Predictions:
Scotland U20 v Fiji U20 – Scotland U20 by 3
I’m finding this one really hard to call. Neither side has won a game so far in this competition. That has to end here even if they got to extra time etc…. In someways this is the most important game of the finals. It decides who gets relegated and won’t be here next year.
I don’t know if I’m being swayed by overall perception of where these 2 countries sit rather than these particular teams stand. I just can’t see Scotland getting relegated from this level.
Italy U20 v Georgia U20 – Georgia U20 by 3
These 2 teams will breath a sigh of relief having avoided the relegation final. It means that they can go out there and enjoy this game. Where the previous game will be tense this one could be more fun. Georgia will relish the chance to make a statement against their 6 Nations opposition. I think that extra drive will decide this game.
Ireland U20 v New Zealand U20 – New Zealand U20 by 7
6 Nations champions face off against the 6 times winners of this competition. Ireland will be really disappointed to be playing for 7th-8th having won the 6 Nations earlier this year. Can they raise themselves for 1 more game?
For the Baby Blacks this is a massive fall from grace. This is only the second time that they haven’t made the final 4. 5th is the worst position previous to they tournament and there will be questions asked back in the Land of the Long White Cloud. They really didn’t cope with the conditions last time out and will be looking to make a point.
The Baby Blacks were a big topic on the All Blacks Edition podcast this week.
England U20 v Wales U20 – England U20 by 3
This game is going to be close. 2 old rivals who fought out an 11-10 result in the 6 Nations. Wales took that one at home but how will they be feeling for their 5th game in 18 days. I’m backing England’s bigger player base to have produced a deeper squad to cope with that fatigue.
Argentina U20 v South Africa U20 – South Africa U20 by 5
The game that no one wants to be playing or that’s what they call it at the Rugby World Cup at least. Funnily enough the senior versions of these 2 sides met in the Rugby World Cup 2015 3rd place playoff. That obviously won’t have an impact on this game. I’ve gone for the same winner though as I think South Africa have been going well in this competition over all.
Australia U20 v France U20 – Australia U20 by 7
This should be a cracker of a game. Neither of these teams has had the perfect path to the finals with both losing their last round robin games. Australia slipped up 56-33 against England and France lost 26-47 to Argentina. France needed to win that game and only other results mean that they made it this far. Australia on the other hand could rest players for that game. That might prove the difference here as Australia have won all their other games by 20+ points.
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