|France U20 (17) 50|
|Tries: Ferte 2, Gazzotti, Jouvin, Depoortere, Nouchi, Drouet Cons: Reus 6 Pens: Reus|
|Ireland U20 (14) 14|
|Tries: Gunne, Devine Cons: Prendergast 2|
Seven-try France produced a devastating second-half performance to beat Ireland 50-14 in the final of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship and win the title for the third consecutive time.
Tries from Fintan Gunne and John Devine saw Ireland lead 7-0 and 14-10 but scores from Mathis Ferte and Marko Gazzotti gave the French a 17-14 half-time advantage.
France turned on the style after the break with Pierre Jouvin, Nicolas Depoortere, Ferte, Lenni Nouchi and Leo Drouet crossing.
Fly-half Hugo Reus continued his fine form in the tournament by kicking six conversions and a penalty for the winners.
The French became only the second team after New Zealand to win the tournament three consecutive times, and they avenged a Six Nations under-20 Championship loss in Ireland this year.
Ireland dominated possession in the early stages and opened the scoring in the third minute when scrum half Gunne showed speed of thought from a French offside to tap a penalty and force his way over, through the legs of Posolo Tuilagi.
France responded with a sensational try on 14 minutes. Baptiste Jauneau was the architect as he made an outstanding break down the left hand side, timing his pass inside to Ferte perfectly to allow the full-back to get across the line and head for the posts to touch down.
Reus added the extras and eight minutes later he made no mistake with a penalty to put the French ahead for the first time in the game.
It was Ireland’s turn to respond and they did so just after the half hour mark when John Devine took advantage of great forward play to collect a pass and dive over the line, showing enough strength to hold onto ball and ground it well for his first try of the tournament.
Gazzotti fed off an excellent drive from the powerful Posolo Tuilagi to score and see the French go in 17-14 ahead at the break.
The second half soon became a hugely one-sided encounter after quickfire tries from hooker Jouvin, off the back of a strong maul, and centre Depoortere, who finished well from a pass out wide.
Ferte got his second try of the game on 69 minutes before the French finished with two more outstanding tries in the final five minutes, with captain Nouchi running in from his own half and Drouet finishing a brilliant passing move.
It was a disappointing end to what had been a good tournament for Ireland who were unable to win in what was the country’s second appearance in the world final.
Ireland: McErlean; Osborne, Gavin, Devine, Nicholson; Prendergast, Gunne; McCarthy, McCarthy, Foxe; Mangan, O’Tighearnaigh; McNabney, Quinn, Gleeson.
Replacements: Clein, Hadden, Barrett, Irvine, O’Connell, Cawley, Lynch, Berman.
France: Ferte; Drouet, Depoortere, Costes, Attissogbe; Reus, Jauneau; Penverne, Jouvin, Affane; Auradou, Tuilagi; Nouchi, Jegou, Gazzotti.
Replacements: Lacombre, Julien, Duchene, Liufau, Castro Ferreira, Carbonneau, Mathiron, Mondinat.