Despite the New Zealand under-20 side suffering a semifinal loss to France this morning it was hard not to smile.

French reserve prop Daniel Brennan stood in front of the cameras to conduct a post-match interview following his side's 16-7 victory to earn a spot in their first ever final.

Viewers were probably expecting a Metropolitan French accent or maybe even a touch of the Meridional accent. Nope.

"I'm absolutely bloody delighted," the Frenchman said in a thick Irish accent.


Brennan is the son of former international Trevor Brennan who play 12 tests for Ireland. Brennan senior played 126 games for Toulouse, the same club his son plays for.

"The team put in such a good effort against South Africa. We said we're coming back today…and we had an absolute cracker of a game. Playing against one of the best countries in the world and to come out with the win today, the supporters are absolutely amazing, so absolutely delighted," Brennan added.

The French were clearly the better side on the day.

They will play England in Monday's final while the Baby Blacks will face South Africa in the bronze medal game. It will be France's first ever appearance in the Under-20 championship final while England are three-time winners of the event.

The French scrum dominated throughout the encounter with prop Demba Bamba and number eight Jordan Joseph standout performers.

New Zealand were the heavy favourites going into the semifinal in Perpignan having scored 19 tries and conceding just three during pool play but amazingly they failed to breech the French 22m until the final quarter of the game.

The last time to two side's clashed was at the same stage in last year's tournament when New Zealand won 39-26.

France held a 3-0 halftime lead before crossing over for the only try of the game shortly after halftime when Romain Ntamack, son of French great Emile Ntamack, scored.

Louis Carbonel converted the Ntamack try and added two further penalties in the second half to extend the lead to 16-0.

New Zealand finally crossed over in the 70th minute when first-five Harry Plummer scored in the left-hand corner before converting his own try. Minutes later New Zealand looked set for a second before a fumble close to the line squandered a chance with numbers out wide.

French then held on in the closing stages to secure a famous win at this level.

"I'm immensely gutted at the result. But I'm very far from disappointed with lads. My lads played with a lot of heart and a lot of pride," said New Zealand skipper Tom Christie.

"I think we were unlucky sometimes and yes some of our mistakes were at times our errors but I can't fault my boys. They are an amazing outfit and when you make mistakes they will punish you."