France overpower Ireland 50-14 to win U20 Rugby World Championship final

France have claimed a hat-trick of U20 Rugby World Championship
France have claimed a hat-trick of U20 Rugby World Championship
©Steve Haag

Ireland U20 14-50 France U20, Cape Town

France scored seven tries as they went on to defeat Ireland 50-14 in the final of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Cape Town.

The result also saw the Les Bleuets complete hat-trick of titles having enjoyed the success in 2018 and 2019.

Ireland were the first to open their account as took a quick tap penalty and squirmed through Posolo Tuilagi’s legs for a score in the fourth minute. With Sam Prendergast kicking the conversion, Ireland raced to a 7-0 lead.

The scores were levelled in the 14th minute as Paul Costes offloaded to Leo Drouetand with eventually fullback Mathis Ferte diving over the line in the 14th minute and Hugo Reus improved. As Ireland were penalised for offside, Reus kicked a three-pointer to put France into a three-point lead.

Nevertheless, Ireland seized the lead back as John Devine gets it down around the half hour mark and Prendergast kicked the extras to make it 14-10. But the momentum once again shifted as Tuilagi went past a couple of Irish defenders before setting up Lino Julien over as France completed the opening half with a 14-17 lead.

Just before the break, Ireland also lost Paddy McCarthy to sin-bin for pulling down the lineout maul and it proved costly as Jouvin scored at the back of a powerful maul early in the second half before Nicolas Depoortere also crossed over to make it 14-31.

With hardly any response from Ireland, France continued to push forward as Ferte completed his second in the 69th minute after beating a tackle from Devine with French captain Lenni Nouchi and Leo Drouet also joining the scoring sheet to complete a dominating second half performance as they clinched the title.

Earlier, South Africa ended their home tournament on a high with a 22-15 win over England in a physical third-place play-off while Japan were relegated to World Rugby U20 Trophy in 2024.

Team line up:

France U20: Mathis Ferte; Leo Drouet, Nicolas Depoortere, Paul Costes, Theo Attissogbe; Hugo Reus, Baptiste Jauneau; Lino Julien, Pierre Jouvin, Zaccharie Affane; Hugo Auradou, Posolo Tuilagi; Lenni Nouchi (capt), Oscar Jegou, Marko Gazzotti.

Replacements: Thomas Lacombre, Kaddouri Alexandre, Thomas Duchene, Brent Liufau, Mathis Castro Ferreira, Leo Carbonneau, Arthur Mathiron, Clement Mondinat.

Ireland U20: Henry McErlean; Andrew Osborne, Hugh Gavin, John Devine, James Nicholson; Sam Prendergast, Fintan Gunne; Paddy McCarthy, Gus McCarthy, Ronan Foxe; Diarmuid Mangan, Conor O'Tighearnaigh; James McNabney, Ruadhan Quinn, Brian Gleeson.

Replacements: Max Clein, George Hadden, Fiachna Barrett, Charlie Irvine, Evan O'Connell, Oscar Cawley, Matthew Lynch, Sam Berman.