Tim Farrell knew his New Zealand team was going to win rugby's under-20 World Championship a fortnight ago.
The Baby Blacks prop who was forced out of the Georgia-hosted tournament with an ankle injury suffered in the first game revealed his inkling shortly after watching delayed television coverage of the Craig Philpott-coached team's 64-17 demolition job on defending champions England in yesterday's final.
He was grateful his father, former Magpies prop John Farrell, taped it for him as he slept through his alarm and woke up five minutes after the live broadcast had ended.
"I knew we were going all the way. Everyone from the coaching staff and players to all the team officials were so determined ... I could feel it.
"We were a bit nervous going into the Italy game because they had upset Ireland. But once we beat Italy there was no doubt we would win the tournament," Farrell said.
"It was definitely frustrating not being there and it's hard letting everybody know the reasons behind it. I had a four-week injury which turned out to be a two-week one. But I'm still in the photo and hopefully I will get a medal."
The Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical club player, who turns 19 on Friday, said being part of the initial stages of the Baby Blacks campaign has made him more determined to try and make next year's Baby Blacks team.
Magpies Tiaan Falcon, who had been the unbeaten Baby Blacks' starting first five-eighth for all three pool games and the semifinal, missed the final with concussion.
Magpies No 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, a second-year Baby Black, played all 80 minutes in the final and Tanalised Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports prop Pouri Rakete-Stones played the first 65 minutes and scored a try.
"Pouri's try was one of many he has scored in that manner as he is such a hard man to stop 5m from the line. The halfback gave the ball to the pod which he was part of ... a good team try. I've been on an opposition team when Pouri has scored those tries against me," Farrell said.
"Marino was awesome. It often took three English players to bring him down. He's such a strong ball runner who never loses the ball in contact."
Wellington hooker Asafo Aumua scored a hat-trick in the final. Blues pivot Stephen Perofeta, who arrived in Georgia two days before the final as a replacement for Falcon, converted seven of the Baby Blacks 10 tries.
"It's pretty exciting. It's not every day you get to say you are world champion," a delighted Philpott said shortly after the final whistle.
Baby Blacks captain and blindside flanker Luke Jacobson was diplomatic with his post-game comments.
"England are a great side. I think that we just got a little bit on top of them today. We just got the bounce of the ball, I'm sure that on any other day it may be a much closer score."
Disappointed England captain Zach Mercer praised New Zealand for their dominant performance.
"New Zealand are a world-class outfit and they are built to score tries but so are we. We kind of switched off in the first 10 minutes. You make one mistake and New Zealand will capitalise on that, that's what they did and that's what makes them a world-class opposition."
Farrell said he was stoked to begin his comeback with 45 minutes during the Texans' 38-7 win against Ansin & Monteith Hastings Rugby and Sports on Saturday.
"That was my first premier game and it was good to play alongside players I watched when I was coming through college rugby like Cracker [Mark Braidwood]."
A part-time geography and environmental studies student at Victoria University in Wellington in between his rugby commitments, Farrell, has an exam in the capital on Saturday morning but hopes to return to Napier in time for the Texans top-of-table match against unbeaten defending championships Hawke's Bay Insurances Limited Napier Old Boys Marist.
"Hopefully I can play well in the remaining club matches this season and earn some minutes for the Magpies come Mitre 10 Cup time," he added.
New Zealand 64 (Asafo Aumua 3, Luke Jacobson 2, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Dalton Papali'i, Josh McKay, Tom Christie tries; Stephen Perofeta 7 cons), England 17 (Ben Earl, Alex Mitchell, Josh Bayliss tries; Max Malins con). HT: 40-7.