Les Bleuets won their third successive World U-20 title with a ruthless attacking performance, scoring five of their seven tries in the second half.
Ireland fell to a 50-14 defeat to France in the 2023 U20 Rugby World Cup final on Friday evening in Cape Town.
Les Bleuets won their third successive World U-20 title with a ruthless attacking performance, scoring five of their seven tries in the second half after trailing 14-10 on the 30-minute mark.
Munster stars Brian Gleeson and Ruadhan Quinn started for the national side while Evan O’Connell and Max Clein both came off the bench.
Hoping to add global success to their back-to-back U-20 Six Nations Grand Slams, the Ireland U-20s had hit the front in the fourth minute through Fintan Gunne’s smartly-taken try from a tap penalty.
John Devine crashed over for a second converted score, replying to a Mathis Ferté effort, but Lino Julien edged the French back in front and some late pressure saw Paddy McCarthy sin-binned for pulling down a maul.
Richie Murphy’s youngsters fought hard to be only 17-14 behind at half-time, yet the loss of the influential loosehead was keenly fought on the restart. Pierre Jouvin and Nicolas Depoortere ran in a quick-fire double.
Suddenly, Ireland had a 17-point deficit to overcome. They had their moments, building some promising phases but a shaky lineout let them down as well as some costly penalties and turnovers.
The short turnaround in games appeared to catch up with them too, while France remained full of running. A 12-minute flurry saw the pre-match favourites pick up three more tries, with Ferté, skipper Lenni Nouchi and Léo Drouet adding a late gloss.