New Zealand crowned JWC 2010 champions

(IRB.COM) Monday 21 June 2010
 
 New Zealand crowned JWC 2010 champions
Tyler Bleyendaal lifts the JWC trophy - Photo: Leonel Galletto/IRB

New Zealand remain the only side to lift the IRB Junior World Championship trophy after producing a dominant display to beat Australia 62-17 at the Estadio El Coloso del Parque in Rosario on Monday.

The Baby Blacks, who have now won all 15 matches since the Junior World Championship was introduced in 2008, never looked in danger of losing from the moment hooker Liam Coltman touched down after just 33 seconds of the final.

Captain Tyler Bleyendaal was the architect of the try, gliding through the Australian defence as if they weren't there and would have scored himself had he not lost his footing and fallen metres short, but a few pick and goes later the defending champions had the opening try.

Bleyendaal, one of the nominees for the IRB Junior Player of the Year 2010 accolade, led by example with an impressive display, helping to set up two tries for teammates and scoring one of his own in a 28 point haul before limping off just past the hour mark.

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His opposite number Matt Toomua kicked a penalty in the sixth minute to get Australia on the board, but there was no let up from the Baby Blacks as Rory Grice bounced off a tackle and sent full back Tom Marshall over in the corner.

Bleyendaal added the conversion and then slotted a penalty to give New Zealand a 17-3 advantage after as many minutes in a final which many had predicted to be a closely fought encounter given the way the two sides had reached the final.

The fly half had a hand in New Zealand's third try, intercepting a pass only metres from his own goal line when it looked like Robbie Coleman would score for Australia and charging up the line, hacking in field and later firing a miss pass out that led to wing Telusa Veainu dotting down.

Australia did finally begin to enjoy some time in the New Zealand half as the break approached but they were simply unable to find a way through the resolute defence of their Trans-Tasman rivals and inside another Bleyendaal penalty sent his side in leading 25-3.

Bleyendaal picked up where he had left off just minutes after the restart with another kick splicing the uprights, before a quick tap then caught Australia napping metres from their own try-line for Sean Poltwart to touch down.

Bleyendaal got the try his performance deserved in the 48th minute when wing Julian Savea - the leading try scorer in the tournament with eight - stepped outside one defender and handed off another down the right touchline before finding his captain on his inside for the easy touchdown.

The conversion and another penalty took New Zealand out to 45-3 before Luke Morahan finally got Australia into double figures, the full back profiting from wing Aidan Toua's break. Bleyendaal though kicked another penalty before bowing out with the highest tally in a match in the 2010 tournament.

By the time he did New Zealand had lost Coltman to the sin-bin and, although Kimami Sitauti used his pace to beat the last defender to score Australia's second try, there was still time for the Baby Blacks to finish in style with another brace by Veainu.

The wing first rounded the last defender to coast under the posts and then pounced on a lofted Australian pass to intercept and race away to score under the posts, completing his hat-trick and taking New Zealand through the 60-point barrier.

The victory is the most emphatic of all three New Zealand final successes under coach Dave Rennie, bettering the 38-3 win over England in 2008 and then 44-28 over the same opponents in Japan last year.

POST MATCH REACTION

New Zealand coach Dave Rennie: "It was pretty close [to the perfect performance] wasn't it? You know we certainly felt that the boys had a lot more left in the tank. Our first half we were very accurate and immediately after half time we scored a couple of quick tries and the game was over really.

"Aussie are a very good side but they've had a pretty tough run in. They had to play South Africa, then England and then us so maybe they ran out of steam a little bit.

"I must admit prior to coming here we weren't sure how they'd measure up but again they've grown quickly in this environment and when you play a final you need key players to stand up and we had a lot of boys that really fronted tonight."

New Zealand captain Tyler Bleyendaal: ""It was important to put Australia on the back foot because they're a great attacking team and you know momentum wins games and we've been guilty of letting teams off. Today we definitely focused on [putting our] foot on the throat and we did that and we just kept scoring points, it was just a great performance.

""Getting quick ball [was the key to our win], it's just so hard to defend, we were in behind the defence the whole game and it just all clicked today and that's what we were looking for. You can never expect a final to blow out like that. We're a great team and if we put it on the park, it was possible and today we wanted it to happen. I'm just stoked."

Australia coach David Nucifora: "They were far too good for us tonight and they played some really good rugby, just one game too many for us I think in the tournament. Disappointing to finish on such a note after the boys have achieved so many good things but it's the way it goes I suppose.

"I think New Zealand started as we anticipated they would, we just didn't have the ability to match it with them up front and then you know you can't play big games like that playing catch up footy and it just blew out on us and everything they did stuck and everything we did came unstuck.

"This whole tournament is about learning things and our boys learnt a lot tonight, learnt a lot through the whole tournament and we've got a lot of young boys that will be back next year so I hope they remember the lesson.

"We've got a lot of boys here that will go on and achieve playing at the highest level I believe. There are some good footballers in our team and as I say they will have learnt a lot from the whole tournament and learnt a lot from tonight as well. We're really disappointed but we're realistic that we got beaten by a very good team but we'll move on I suppose, it's all you can do."

Australia captain Jake Schatz: "Full credit to the New Zealand side, they were very clinical in what they did they seemed to be able to execute everything but I think we were out enthused for most of the game. Credit to our guys that we scored a couple of tries but yeah it's a bit disappointing. We tried to keep the energy levels up but it's hard when you're on the back foot for the whole time."