Samoa win World Rugby U20 Trophy

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World Rugby - Samoa beat Spain in sudden death extra-time to win the World Rugby U20 Trophy and secure an immediate return to the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2017.

Samoa and Spain served up a classic final as the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2016 came to a thrilling climax in the gathering gloom of the Harare Sports Club in the Zimbabwe capital.

Even for a tournament where entertainment had been the order of the day throughout, few people would have predicted that the final would have been quite so dramatic.

Leading by eight points with nine minutes left to go, Spain threatened to cause an upset against the side relegated from the U20 Championship in 2015 until number eight Elia Elia struck with his hat-trick try to hand Samoa a lifeline which they gratefully accepted three minutes into extra-time when replacement Tivoli Masaga crossed in the corner.

Despite the disappointment, Spain can take huge credit for their performances in their first outing at this level but it is Samoa who can now look forward to playing against the elite nations again at the World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 in Georgia.

In the other matches on the final day, Fiji held off a Namibia fight-back to win their third place play-off 44-30, while USA beat Uruguay 32-30 with Ben Cima's last-minute penalty to finish third and Hong Kong picked up their first win, 44-40 against hosts Zimbabwe to finish seventh.

FINAL: SAMOA 38-32 SPAIN

First-time European qualifiers Spain showed no nerves despite the prize at stake and after bossing the early exchanges they deservedly took the lead when full-back Guillermo Dominguez rounded off a multi-phase attack with an arching run to the corner.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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