July 13, 2024

PAINFUL DEPARTURE: New Zealand Star Player Has Just Gone……

Wales finishes quickly as New Zealand U20 wins on opening day.

The New Zealand U20 team defeated a tenacious Wales team 41-34 to start their World Championship campaign in South Africa.

Halfback Dylan Pledger grabbed an intercept down the left hand touchline in the seventh minute to give the Baby Blacks the lead, and he never let it go. Wales responded, keeping the score within touching distance and giving New Zealand something to think about.

A penalty try and a yellow card to Wales lock Osain Thomas provided the necessary momentum swing for the Kiwis, who were leading 10–8 at the time.

Xavi Taele, an impressive midfielder who won player of the tournament in the Rugby Championship U20, broke past the Welsh defense and extended his hand to cross the line.

After Rico Simpson’s conversion increased the lead to 24–8, the Welsh team managed to stay in the game with a flurry of attacks right before halftime.

A lineout on the five was followed by several phases of tight forward play. Flyhalf Harri Wilde’s long cutout throw struck the mark, and inside center Louie Hennessey scored his first try of two with a walk-in on the right wing.

In the second half, New Zealand gained the upper hand. Xavi Taele answered with his second try, a brilliant solo effort along the right touchline, which he finished with an impressive dive.

Following a devious lineout play, blindside flanker Tai Cribb scored to increase New Zealand’s lead to 36-13.

As it appeared that Wales would lose, Hennessey’s scrum play goal gave them hope. With an amazing score, he ran a hard line off No. 8 Morgan Morse, piercing the defense and slicing through many defenders.

Xavier Tito-Harris, a key player for the New Zealand Sevens, helped New Zealand take advantage of the one-man advantage after No. 8 Morse received a second yellow card.

Tito-Harris broke the line from 60 meters out to start the try. Once the outside back and prop A-One Lolofie connected, the back received the return pass to finish.

Despite two late tries within the final ten minutes that would have given New Zealand a seven-point lead, they managed to finish the final two minutes and won.

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