France clinch maiden World Rugby U20 Championship title with 25-33 win over England in final

England U20 25-33 France U20, Beziers

France went on to clinch their maiden World Rugby U20 Championship title after they defeated England 25-33 in the final in Beziers.

This is also the second successive time England have lost the final after previously losing to New Zealand in the 2017 edition.

Fly-half Louis Carbonel kicked a fifth-minute penalty goal through the post to get France off the mark. As the spectators showed full support for the home side, they doubled the lead with Carbonel kicking another penalty goal to take their lead to 0-6 at the end of the first quarter.

The response from England came in the 22nd minute when Marcus Smith slotted the penalty kick but France were the dominant side among the two as flanker Cameron Woki crashed from close range to take the scoreline 3-11.

The third of Carbonel penalty kick increased France's lead to 11 points but England pulled back things a bit when Tom Hardwick offloaded to winger Jordan Olowofela for their opening that reduced the gap to six points at halftime.

England failed to build on their momentum in the second half and instead France further extended the gap with three back to back penalty kicks from Carbonel in the third quarter that took the scoreline to 8-23. A second penalty kick from Smith in the 64th minute provided England a glimmer of hope, only for Carbonel to negate it few minutes back.

Consolation tries from Joe Heyes (71') and Olowofela (79') kept England in the hunt but France with a final try from Adrien Seguret ensured they completed a 25-33 victory.

England coach Steve Bates said: “We were just a bit ill-disciplined at times and kept giving them the chance to keep the scoreboard ticking over. We knew that they were going to be tough at this ground, with this sort of support, so really proud of the performance from our guys but we just let them creep ahead too much. They’ll see it as a fantastic experience, a very valuable one for them in the future. Not many of them will come to a stadium like this and be in this sort of atmosphere very often, certainly not before now and maybe not much after. They’ll reflect on it and say that ‘we gave it out best shot but we were not quite good enough on the day but what a great experience this whole thing has been'.”

France coach Sébastien Piqueronies said: “It’s a squad win, staff and players. We were focused, we worked a lot and it’s a great award for all of the work that we have done. We were very united. It’s a moment of history, we wanted to win for ourselves, for this group of players and staff. We are very proud of what we have done."