Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
As it happened: Ireland v New Zealand, World Rugby U20 Championship
The U20 World Cup can’t end without sorting out the 7th-place play-off and we’re going minute-by-minute.

Well hello there.

The solstice is over, the sun is out, so you’re probably not intent on settling in for the afternoon in front of eir Sport 1, but we’re here to make sure you don’t miss a beat of Ireland’s fifth and final U20 World Cup campaign.

New Zealand are today’s opposition, kick-off at 17.00 cast down into a 7th and 8th place play-off due to a wash-out against Wales on Monday.

Here’s how the sides will line up today.

Ireland have centre Liam Turner and out-half Jake Flannery in a starting role for a 10th time in 10 games this year. Men of steel in a seriously punishing competition.


15. Max O’Reilly (Dublin University/Leinster)
14. Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University/Ulster)
13. Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster)
12. Cormac Foley (St.Mary’s College/Leinster)
11. Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster)
10. Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
9. Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster)

1. Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster)
2. Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht)
3. Tom Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster)
4. Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster)(captain)
5. Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster)
6. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
7. Ronan Watters (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
8. Brian Deeny (Clontarf/Leinster)


16. Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster)
17. Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster)
18. Charlie Ward (Clontarf/Leinster)
19. John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
20. Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht)
21. Luke Clohessy (Shannon/Munster)
22. Azur Allison (Ballymena/Ulster)
24. Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht)
25. Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster)
26. Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster)
27. David Ryan (UCD/Leinster)
28. Aaron O’Sullivan (UCD/Leinster).

New Zealand:

15. Cole Forbes
14. Etene Nanai Seturo
13. Billy Proctor
12. Quinn Tupaea
11. Leicester Fainga’anuku
10. Rivez Reihana
9. Taufa Funaki

1. Oliver Norris
2. Shilo Klein
3. Fletcher Newell
4. Cullen Grace
5. Tupo Vaa’i
6. Kaylum Boshier (captain)
7. Jeriah Mua
8. Simon Parker.


16. Kianu Kereru-Symes
17. Robert Cobb
18. Kaliopasi Uluilakepa
19. Tamaiti Williams
20. Taine Plumtree
22. James Thompson
23. Kohan Herbert
24. Leroy Carter
25. Fergus Burke
26. Dallas McLeod
27. Chay Fihaki.

Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR).

The anthems are done and the ‘cultural challenge’ is under way. The Baby Blacks have a nice little variation of Ka Mate, moving out of a circle before into the familiar spearhead formation.


Reihana gets us under way and Ireland collect deep int heir half. Flannery kicks an early contestable and Ireland win the scraps before kicking again.

This time possession is surrendered, but there is no shortage of bite to Ireland’s chase. 

Big hit from Ronan Watters underlines the rattling Ireland are aiming at black jerseys today.

The openside forces a scrum on halfway to halt Kiwi momentum.

TRY! Ireland 0 New Zealand 5 (Nanai-Seturo ’6)

The Baby Blacks roar back and burst into the lead as Max O’Reilly is caught by a horrible bounce on a kick from Funaki. Nanai-Seturo is first to react and dives over for the opening score.

Reihana adds the conversion for the maximum score.

Ireland 0 New Zealand 7

Big prop Oliver Norris thinks he’s gotten a second try, we go in hope to the TMO. 

TRY! Ireland 0 New Zealand 14 (Norris ’9)

A disaster start for Ireland and that try is a disaster indeed. Norris strolled to the back of a ruck, lifted the ball as it came out before Craig Casey could get there and the prop ran 20 metres to the corner.

TRY! Ireland 0 New Zealand 19 (Nanai-Seturo ’13)

It’s all gone pear-shaped very quickly for Ireland. We’d love to bring you an update that wasn’t a try, but Ireland have not been able to put much of a shape on this contest and errors have punctured their efforts to advance.

Nanai-Seturo gets in for his second in the right corner.

Dylan Tierney-Martin has proven himself a big playmaker all year, but his efforts to make an impact at the breakdown there backfire as he concedes a penalty and invites New Zealand to set up shop in the 22 with a line-out.

The black pack get their hands on the ball and link nicely to push Ireland back before  Fainga’Anuku finds a gap between the bodies and dots down.

TRY! Ireland 0 New Zealand 26 (Fainga’Anuku ’21)

Ryan Baird has been called back for a high tackle.

Penalty only, so there’s some relief in that after this red card-heavy tournament, but Reihana isn’t interested in kicking the penalty at the posts. So we’re back in the corner of Ireland’s 22.

New Zealand fluff the line-out and the free-kick goes Ireland’s way.

They turn over the subsequent line-out up on the 10, but DTM can’t quite gather the bobbling ball and the scrum goes New Zealand’s way.

Okay, the finger has been put in the dyke now.

Ireland working very hard to keep the score as it is, gritting their teeth to scrap and wrestle for balls to stunt New Zealand’s progress.

31 mins: Here’s a first decent set of phases from Ireland. Seven strung together in their own half before Flannery sends a kick wide right.

Kernohan comes down with it and Ireland, you sense, are finally feeling a rhythm.

A penalty comes as a black jersey is too slow rolling from the ruck. Ireland can attack from a line-out 10 metres out now. 

A knock-on comes as Ireland set the maul, but Josh Wycherley forces a penalty off the resulting scrum and they can try again.

This time the maul works and Casey whips the ball away for the big carriers to have a cut. The black wall holds firm as Deeny and Baird take aim at the line, but another penalty comes for offside.

Ireland thought Cormac Foley was over, but he’s just short. With another penalty against the young men in black, Flannery kicks across field, but Forbes is well-placed to beat Kernohan in the air.

Must be his gaelic football training.

TRY! Ireland 5 Zealand 26 (Wycherley 38)

Thank goodness for that. Ireland are on the board after a relentless onslaught of pressure culminated in Josh Wycherley forcing his way over.

Flannery just cuts the conversion attempt near left of the posts.

SIN-BIN: Billy Proctor

Ireland are feeling the boost that only a score can bring and they race back into attacking territory before the Baby Black centre Proctor is done for a high tackle.

John Plumtree’s son Taine thwarts the line-out attempt and so the half ends with a three-try Kiwi lead in tact.

HALF-TIME: Ireland 5 New Zealand 26

The second half os here. Can Ireland keep whittling the deficit away, or will it be a long 40 minutes to end their year?

This is a serious lift in tempo and intent from Ireland. 

Russell’s break is followed up by a half break from Foley and then Ryan Baird works to keep the ball alive with a big offload that goes to ground but does the job of keeping the move alive.

TRY! Ireland 12 New Zealand 26 (Tierney-Martin ’43)

After Baird’s pop back, Flannery tried to dance through bodies and Wycherly had a go at the line.

The prop was held up and New Zealand held for another phase before that man Dylan Tierney-Martin forced the score.

The sun is shining in Argentina and Ireland are making hay while New Zealand are down to 14 men.

Ryan Baird makes a big gain in the carry. He has really enjoyed his run in the back row during this tournament.

Aaron Kernohan was down for a long stint of treatment there after trying to run a deep kick from his 22.

He’s hit hard by two tacklers. And given a penalty for his troubles.

The Ulster wing is back up and looking spitely for the following line-out and has a good cut through the line before offloading to Turner, who just can’t bring the pill in.

TRY! Ireland 17 New Zealand 26 (Baird ’47)

The unlikely comeback is on!

Big Ryan Baird breaks down the left wing using all his power to propel forward. Craig Casey pops up in support and jinks and weaves to keep the Black defenders unbalanced before being tackled and offloading back up into the big paws of Baird.

New Zealand are restored to the full complement with Proctor back from sin-bin and they are back on the attack having seen Ireland whittle their lead away.

The Kiwis cough up their attack and Ireland try to counter, finding plenty of space for Kernohan to raid away out of the 22.

His second attempt works better than his first and he angles towards midfield before big Tupo Vaa’i utterly cements DTM on the touchline.

Another big skirmish win for Ireland. Penalty comes at the scrum on half-way and Flannery boots the ball into attacking position.

We’re in the final quarter now and, while Ireland are continuing to push their tempo and trying to stretch New Zealand with back-play, they must be feeling the impact of fatigue.

Forbes with a rare spark of black magic here. Taking in a high ball and spinning clear before kicking beyond Flannery, who does well to scramble and at least win the race for the ball.

Scrum V black, though as Flannery carried the pill across his line.

TRY! Ireland 17 New Zealand 33 (Williams ’66)

Big Tamaiti Williams lands a big final blow to Ireland’s hopes of victory here. The replacement prop rumbles over after a series of pick and go phases after the scrum V.

TMO calls for a look at Azur Allison and he’s fortunate enough not to see more punishment after a clash of heads as NZ’s line-out jumper came down to earth and was met by the Ulster man’s tackle.

TRY! Ireland 17 New Zealand 38 (Klein ’71)

And there’s the nail in the coffin. Reihana sends a gorgeous kick up the line from a penalty and his pack responds with a clinical maul grounded by the hooker.

Reihana dusts off that magic boot and drives a touchline conversion to ring up the 40 for the Baby Blacks.

Ireland 17 New Zealand 40

SIN-BIN: Taimati Williams

The big man is picked out for a high hit on Ben Healy as he fielded a high ball, but it appears as though it’s a case of mistaken identity with the replays showing that it was actually Nanai-Seturo who got to the out-half.

Tensions boiling over here as Ireland try to stop themselves from feeling steam-rolled.

Jake Flannery had to take on a good deal of treatment there after being leveled by prop Kaliopasi Uluilakepa.

The Shannon man has played every minute for this team across 10 matches.

FULL-TIME: Ireland 17 New Zealand 40

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel