The 2016 IRB Junior World Championships opened with six cracking games in Manchester. Holders New Zealand saw off Georgia, while hosts England also had a comfortable success.
In the game of the day, Six Nations Champions Wales lost out by a point to a very determined Irish side coached by Nigel Carolan. The Welsh had got off to a very bright start with tries from Shaun Evans, Keelan Giles and Reuben Morgan-Williams, as they opened up a 17-0 lead with just 20 minutes on the clock. However, tries from Adam McBurney, from a line-out maul and full-back Jacob Stockdale had the scoreline at 17-15 by half-time.
In the second half, two penalties by Bill Johnstone had the Irish in front by a point before Stockdale scored his second try of the game. Ireland had sustained pressure on the Welsh defence, and after several phases Stockdale went over in the corner. Ireland defended superbly after that, with all the players putting in a determined shift. But with just minutes remaining, Wales had the chance to win the game. Keelan Giles touched down in the corner, but we had to wait for confirmation from the TMO before the try was given. With the score at 26-25 in Ireland’s favour, a conversion would have won the game, however Daniel Jones missed the kick.
Elsewhere, South Africa saw off a battling Japanese side 59-19 after Japan had raced to an early 19-7 lead. A hat-trick of tries from winger Ata’ata Moeakiola in just eleven minutes shocked the young Boks, but they rebounded very well in the second half. Six tries in that second half sealed a comprehensive win. Both Zain Davids and Jeremy Ward had two tries apiece.
Argentina shocked France 24-15. Two tries in the last ten minutes won the game for the South Americans, with Lautaro Bazan Velez and Bautista Stavile Bravin the scorers.
Tries from Zander Fagerson and Darcy Graham gave Scotland a 15-10 win over Australia, who had Campbell Magnay sent off for a very dangerous high neck roll in the ruck.
New Zealand held Georgia scoreless in their 55-0 win. They scored nine tries, with Caleb Makene and Jonah Lowe touching down twice.
England had too much power for Italy in their 48-10 win. George Nott opened the try scoring in the ninth minute, and they went on to score five more tries to win comfortably.