Ireland Under-20s ended their World Championships on a high as they beat hosts Georgia 24-18 to finish the tournament in ninth place.
After a sobering start to their campaign - which saw consecutive defeats to Italy, Scotland and New Zealand - Peter Malone’s side had secured their top-flight status with victory over Samoa last time out.
And they followed that win with another in the ninth-10th place play-off, although they were made to work for it in Tblisi.
Ireland took an early lead in through Alan Tynan, and tries from Caelan Doris and captain Paul Boyle after the break looked to have put them on course.
However there was a late wobble as Georgia scrum-half Gela Aprasidze scored a try and a penalty to make it 21-18 to Ireland - but Conor Dean’s 73rd minute penalty and some good defensive work helped Ireland over the line.
Meanwhile New Zealand dethroned England to be named world champions, the Baby Blacks scoring 10 tries in a 64-17 rout.
New Zealand scored two tries inside the opening 10 minutes, and there was a particulary inspired performance from hooker Asafo Aumua who scored a hat-trick.
Elsewhere South Africa beat France in the third-fourth place play-off, Scotland beat Australia into fifth place, Wales sealed seventh place ahead of Italy and Argentina beat Samoa in the relegation play-off.