Baby Blacks look to extend winning run
June 13, 2011
Piutau was in lightning form in the first round which saw New Zealand continue their incredible winning run © Getty Images
Defending champions New Zealand will look to continue their incredible winning run in the IRB Junior World Championships when they tackle Wales in Rovigo on Tuesday.
The Baby Blacks' nine-try 64-7 mauling of hosts Italy in their opening clash on Friday extended their unbeaten run to 16 games dating back to the inaugural U20s tournament in 2008. The New Zealanders were in imperious form at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo, in Treviso, with fullback Charles Piutau grabbing two tries but they face a Wales side fresh from a 34-8 victory over Argentina that was orchestrated by rising star Matthew Morgan who bagged a 19-point haul. However, Morgan will have to settle for a place on the bench alongside round one captain Macauley Cook. The hosts Italy will face Argentina in the other tie in Pool A and will hope to give the passionate home support something to sing about.
In Pool C, England will hope to continue their good form against Scotland in Treviso following a nip and tuck game against rivals Ireland in the opening round of matches. England battled to a 33-25 victory but were made to work hard for their win with winger Marland Yarde grabbing the all-important score in the dying minutes.However, England have made nine changes from the team which started against Ireland and notable changes in personnel include flanker Matt Kvesic taking over the captaincy from No.8 Alex Gray and the return of Saracens' wonderkid fly-half Owen Farrell, who replaces George Ford.
Scotland did not fare so well in a 33-0 thrashing at the hands of South Africa, who will now face Ireland in Treviso.
Elsewhere, France face Tonga in Pool B and Tonga's conquerors from the first round, Australia, will line up against Fiji in Padova.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September