Baby Boks book semis spot
William Small-Smith (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Baby Boks have qualified for the semi-finals of IRB Junior World Championship after scoring four second half tries to beat England at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday night.
The SA under-20 side won 28-15, after trailing 3-0 at half-time.
The South Africans had to win with a four-try bonus point and when they went into the break scoreless the odds were stacked heavily against them.
However, four second half tries from centre and stand-in captain William Small-Smith and flankers Shaun Adendorff (2) and Pieter Steph du Toit secured a memorable win.
The Baby Boks, who also had to contend with two late withdrawals
in captain and flanker Wiaan Liebenberg and replacement flyhalf Tony Jantjies, were slow out of the blocks and forced onto the back foot for the opening seven minutes.
The South Africans absorbed the pressure and responded with a passage of pressure play, which saw the English pinned in the half for about 12 minutes.
The South Africans managed two drives up to the English tryline, but the England defence held firm.
Initially two England clearance kicks relieved the pressure, but once they gained possession, their forwards and backs combined for penetrative movements down the middle. However, the South African defence was equal to the task.
England managed to open the scoring when fullback Tommy Bell slotted over a long-range penalty in the 33rd minute to make it 3-0. That was how the score stood at the break.
The Baby Boks returned with a greater sense of urgency and in the opening 10 minutes of the second half twice cracked England's defence to cross the tryline. Flyhalf Handré Pollard slotted over both conversions.
The first five-pointer came after Small-Smith broke close to the halfway line, and the England defence leaked a gap, allowing almost free passage to the goal line.
A few minutes later, a Steven Kitshoff-led maul had England back-pedalling in front of their posts, before Adendorff peeled off the back of the maul for the touch-down.
In between those tries, Bell reduced the deficit with the penalty for a 14-6 score after 53 minutes.
The eight-point lead was very nearly whittled away as the Baby Boks incurred the wrath of the referee and Bells slotted over two penalties to make it 14-12.
Cheered on by the 14 000-strong crowd, South Africa struck back almost immediately, with flanker Du Toit diving over next to the posts. Pollard's conversion opened up a nine-point lead (21-12).
The momentum of the South African forwards took its toll in the 70th minute when the visitor's defence failed to halt another forward charge and Adendorff was set free to bag the bonus-point try. Pollard landed the conversion for a 28-12 lead.
Six minutes before the end England managed a further penalty through Bell.
South Africa will now play Argentina in the semi-finals on Sunday, while New Zealand will play Wales in the other semi-final.Baby Boks team:
15. Dillyn Leyds (Western Province) 14. Paul Jordaan (KZN) 13. William Small-Smith (Blue Bulls, captain) 12. Jan Serfontein (Blue Bulls) 11. Pat Howard (Western Province) 10. Handré Pollard (Western Province) 9. Vian van der Watt (Golden Lions) 8. Fabian Booysen (Golden Lions) 7. Pieter Steph du Toit (KZN) 6. Shaun Adendorff (Blue Bulls) 5. Ruan Botha (Golden Lions) 4. Paul Willemse (Golden Lions) 3. Oliver Kebble (Western Province) 2. Jason Thomas (Blue Bulls) 1. Steven Kitshoff (Western Province)
Substitutes: 16. Mark Pretorius (Golden Lions) 17. Allan Dell (KZN) 18. Khaya Majola (KZN) 19. Braam Steyn (KZN) 20. Abrie Griesel (Blue Bulls) 21. Marais Schmidt (Golden Lions)/Tony Jantjies (Blue Bulls) 22. Tshotsho Mbovane (Western Province) 23. Maks van Dyk (KZN)
Results form the IRB Junior World Championship on Tuesday:Pool A
Wales 74, Samoa 3
New Zealand 33, Fiji 12Pool B
Ireland 41, Italy 12South Africa 28
, England 15Pool C
Argentina 17, Scotland 12
France 31, Australia 7Fixtures:June 17
Ninth place semi-finals
Scotland v Italy
Fiji v Samoa Fifth place semi-finals
France v Australia
Ireland v EnglandSemi-finals
Wales v New Zealand South Africa