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Junior World Championship: Scots face fight to safeguard place in the championship

New Zealand have booked a place in the top four for Sunday's semi-final round of the IRB Junior World Championship in Auckland, after achieving the necessary bonus-point victory with a comfortable win in the final pool match at the ECOLight Stadium.

The result and margin of defeat resigned Scotland to fourth in Pool C and 12th in the rankings overall at the end of the group stage. They will face ninth-place Italy in the penultimate round on Sunday at the ECOLight Stadium and must win either that match or their final play-off to ensure their place in the IRB Junior World Championship next year.

"We need to stay strong and regroup for the last games," said Sean Lineen, Scotland Under-20s head coach. "We're disappointed the way the games went but I'm really pleased with the scrums and the work we've done on defence."

Against a powerful and skilful New Zealand side, Scotland trailed 21-0 at the interval to tries from Tom Sanders, Josh Renton and Mitchell Jacobsen. Conversions followed from Simon Hickey and then Richard Mo'unga.

Further tries in the second half by Renton, Damian McKenzie, TJ Fainene, Vincent Tavae-Aso and Leon Fukofuka - converted by Mo'unga - embellished the scoreline. Scotland mustered a consolation try through Damian Hoyland which Gavin Lowe converted.

Elsewhere, Ireland secured a top-four place with a 38-0 win over Fiji, although France could not follow suit after losing to Wales.

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