New Zealand reclaims title

BELFAST - New Zealand ended two years of finals heartbreaks by reclaiming the world Under-19 rugby championship for the first time since 2004 with a thumping 31-7 win over South Africa on Saturday.

BELFAST - New Zealand ended two years of finals heartbreaks by reclaiming the world Under-19 rugby championship for the first time since 2004 with a thumping 31-7 win over South Africa on Saturday.

Robert Fruean, Trent Renata - in the first seven minutes - and Kade Poki scored tries in a sublime display of attacking rugby to lead New Zealand into the break up 17-0 and without centre Fruean, who'd been sinbinned for a high tackle, and inside centre Ryan Crotty, who was stretchered off with an ankle injury.

Another try was disallowed by the TV official as New Zealand blunted the powerful African pack. Renata converted his second try to start the second half, and set up the fifth try for Crotty's replacement, Jackson Willison to make it 31-0.

South Africa, champion in 2005, had the last say with a converted try by No. 8 Yassir Hartzenberg, who replaced captain Gerrit van Velze just before halftime.

"To win tonight, and also so resoundingly, was just fantastic," New Zealand captain Chris Smith said. "We have to give South Africa credit because that was a hard final.

"That was a real brutal encounter up front." - Sapa-AP

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