Five things we learnt from day two of the World Rugby U20 Championship

World Rug June 4, 2018 – We take a look at some lessons to take away from the second match-day of the World Rugby U20 Championship which saw England book their place in the semi-finals and defending champions New Zealand, South Africa, hosts France, Australia and Argentina all record victories.

We take a look at some lessons to take away from the second match-day of the World Rugby U20 Championship which saw England book their place in the semi-finals and defending champions New Zealand, South Africa, hosts France, Australia and Argentina all record victories.

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1. The final quarter – The ultra-competitiveness of the 2018 edition means that matches are going right to the wire, the outcome still in doubt until the final whistle blows.

Four matches on day one were decided by a single score, poker domino Scotland being on the end of a last-gasp defeat against Italy and then seeing a two-point deficit suddenly become a 16-point loss after Argentina scored two tries in the final 10 minutes of their second-round meeting in Perpignan.

Los Pumitas weren’t the only team to make the last quarter count in round two. The Junior Wallabies used the final 20 minutes in Narbonne to accelerate away from a determined Japanese outfit.

Four tries in nine minutes up to the 70-minute mark saw Australia go from 28-12 to a much more commanding 54-12 lead and give them confidence to take into their Pool A decider with defending champions New Zealand.

With seven teams bidding to join England in the semi-finals, the conclusion of the pool stages is one not to miss … and don’t be surprised if it takes the full 80 minutes to determine the three teams still in contention to lift the coveted trophy.

2. Eight is the number – When you look at a number eight’s job description, breaking the gain-line and delivering front-foot ball are two top requirements and on Sunday in south-west France, three players put in noteworthy performances to meet that brief.

At the Stade de la Mediterranee in Béziers, France’s Jordan Joseph and his Georgian counterpart Tornike Jalagonia ignited their Pool C meeting.

Joseph made 13 carries and no less than 80 metres, a metre-gain bettered only by Les Bleuets�™ full-back Matthis Lebel and winger Maxime Marty. Jalagonia had moved from blindside to number eight in a much-changed Georgian pack from their 33-27 loss to South Africa and taken on the captaincy, a role that clearly resonated with him as he was everywhere. He finished top of their carrying charts with nine and made a monster 18 tackles �“ the most by a player on either match day but couldn’t prevent his side losing 24-12 to France. With inspirational leadership like that, have Georgia found a successor to their much-loved captain Mamuka Gorgodze on the test stage?