Wales U20s humbled by New Zealand

Wales U20s were beaten by New Zealand for the second time in five days as they fell to a 71-12 defeat at the Manchester City Academy Stadium

Jason Strange's side suffered a heartbreaking 19-18 defeat last week,but this time the Baby Blacks ran-in 11 tries to advance to the fifth placed playoff. Joe Gage and Harrison Keddie crossed for Wales.

Unlike their narrow defeat five days ago, Wales were slow out of the blocks. New Zealand got off to the perfect start when wing Jonah Low sliced through from a lineout to score, and Jordie Barrett converted for an early 7-0 lead.

And it got even worse two minutes later. Dan Jones received the ball in the backfield, but saw his return kick charged down by second-row Hamish Dalzell, who fell on the ball to score the All Blacks' second try in three minutes.

The nightmare start continued after six minutes when Quinten Strange fielded a cross-kick and fed wing Caleb Makene, who crossed unopposed. Barrett added the extras again to put New Zealand 21-0 up. Shaun Stevenson was the next All Black to go over, maintaining his record of scoring in every match so far.

But Wales showed their never-say-die spirit to get on the scoreboard after 18 minutes. A promising maul gave Jones a perfect attacking platform to spread the ball wide. The Scarlets fly-half worked the ball to Joe Thomas, who found Joe Gage, and he carved through the defence to score.

But Hapakuki Moala-Liava'a got the All Blacks back on top with a try ten minutes from half-time. Sam Nock had a score ruled out as the clock turned red, so New Zealand went in 35-5 in-front at the break.

The second-half started much like the first, with New Zealand scoring through hooker Leni Apisi. Jordan Rosser was also guilty of a dangerous tackle in the build-up and was shown yellow. Makene got his second try not long after, before Strange scored a charge-down try.

But Wales got one back with 15 minutes remaining. Kieran Williams snaffled up a loose ball and broke before offloading to Shaun Evans. The back-rower found vice-captain Keddie, who crashed over to make it 54-12.

Stevenson bagged another try before Makene wrapped it up with his hat trick score. And Patelesio Tomkninson added insult to injury when he intercepted on his own try-line to race downfield and score try number 11.