Cape Town - The Junior Springboks on Monday evening lost 28-20 to
defending champions England in their World Rugby Under-20 Championship
semi-final in Calvisano and will now contest the bronze final on Saturday
against France, who earlier lost against New Zealand in the other semi-final.
South Africa left themselves with too much to do after two
of their players were yellow carded for high tackles in the opening 30 minutes,
handing England the advantage upfront.
The Junior Bok rallied with two tries in the closing
minutes, but it was unfortunately too late.
The first few minutes were characterised by both teams
seeking to gain the advantage by testing each with long kicks up field. South
Africa were penalised for a ruck offence and England flyhalf Rory Jennings
kicked the first points of the match to put England 3-0 ahead after four
Two minutes later England were caught offside and Brandon
Thomson slotted the 45 m kick to level the scores at 3-3.
Joseph Dweba was then penalised for a high tackle offering
Jennings his second successful attempt at kick to regain the lead at 6-3. Hanro
Liebenberg, the SA captain and No 8, then received a yellow card for another
high tackle. Jennings hit the upright with his third penalty kicking attempt as
England tried to pile on the pressure.
Warrick Gelant tested the English defence with a surging run
and moments later the South Africans, showed great strength and courage to push
England off their own scrum to gain a penalty, which Thomson sent wide.
England were caught off guard with a scrum on their try line
and conceded a penalty for an early hit. Thomson hit the target from close
range and the team enjoyed the water break at the 20 minute mark level on
In the 22nd minute lock Jason Jenkins was yellow
carded for another high tackle and sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes, two
minutes after captain Liebenberg had returned to the field.
With a lock off missing, England scored a pushover scrum try
when James Chisholm controlled the ball at the back off the scrum to dot down
to put England 11-6 in front after 26 minutes.
SA replaced hooker Joseph Dweba in the 32 minute with Jan
van der Merwe and he took the field with Jenkins who have served his 10 minutes
in the sin bin.
England were afforded a penalty try on the stroke of
halftime and when Jennings slotted the easy conversion the English were 18-6 in
front at halftime.
SA started the second half better, more assured in the scrum
and much better in control of their ball. Coach Dawie Theron sent on Dan du
Preez on for Rikus Bothma in the 49 minute in an effort to beef up the pack.
South Africa elected not to kick for poles on two occasions
as their forwards got back into the battle.
Jennings landed another penalty with a half hour left to
play to stretch the English lead to 21-6 after the SA wing Leolin Zas was
called back from an intercept when a team mate was penalised for offside.
A minute later Thomson steered his first penalty of the
second half wide.
With nine minutes left on the clock the English outside
centre Nick Tomkins went over for to score England’s third try and with
Jennings slotting the kick England were now comfortably ahead by 28-6. Tomkins
was yellow carded moments later for an illegal tackle but by that time England
was out of reach, with four minutes left to play and SA needing more than three
Substitute Malcolm Jaer crossed the line for the first
Junior Bok try, which Thomson converted from a difficult angle to reduce the
deficit to 28-13.
South Africa the worked their way back into English
territory and Daniel du Plessis then finished off a slick movement to score
again (28-20). England kicked out the ball seconds later to advance to their
third successive final.
Tries: Malcolm Jaer, Daniel du Plessis
Penalties: Thomson (2)
Try: James Chisholm,
Penalty Try, Nick Tomkins
Conversions Jennings (2)
Penalties: Rory Jennings