France have defeated New Zealand 16-7 at the U20 World Championships to reach their first ever final at this level.
Les Bleuets will now take on England in Sunday’s final in what promises to be a brilliant end to the tournament.
The French were roared on by a sold out crowd in Perpignan as they showed some excellent attacking moves to pile pressure on their opponents. For all their good play, France were only 3-0 up at halftime but they got the first try of the game soon into the second half when Romain Ntamack crossed over, son of French legend, Émile Ntamack.
Further penalties gave the French a 16-0 lead and all the Baby Blacks could muster was a try from Harry Plummer who converted his own score but France were able to hold on for a 16-7 victory.
The game was marred by controversy however, with the Baby Blacks coming in for criticism for some foul play during the game.
Firstly, a stamp from a New Zealand player on prone French player has been highlighted on social media with the incident not resulting in a card during the game. The referee reviewed the incident at the time but decided not to issue the Kiwi scrum-half a card.
However, this hasn’t stopped people from disagreeing with the decision on social media.
I’m seeing two stamps and yet this is only a penalty. It’s seems the U20s are learning a lot from their senior team pic.twitter.com/khlsZGv4DV
— Nett (@NeaffBird) June 12, 2018
Simpky reckless play, stamp could have ended up anywhere…
— Neil (@crfc1876) June 12, 2018
Poor… very poor. Thought this behaviour had left the game. Too young to of seen it. So… coached?
— Andy Scott (@notAndySC) June 12, 2018
Thats twice the nz scrumhalf has tried to stamp on players, and just a penalty cause its new zealand…. #WorldRugbyU20s
— Grant (@gharkness97) June 12, 2018
— James Mellor (@JamesDFMellor) June 12, 2018
There was also a swinging arm by an All Blacks player which went unpunished.
Not sure any intent could be proven for either contact, but 1st Half swinging arm is more conclusive…. pic.twitter.com/jBFkTNSeFn
— ℝ𝕠𝕟á𝕟 (@RonanB) June 12, 2018