Cape Town - The Junior Springboks will meet France on Saturday (18:30) in Cremona in the playoff for third place after losing their World Rugby Under-20 Championship semi-final 28-20 to England in Calvisano on Monday night.
The South Africans received two yellow cards in the first half, both for high tackles, and the disadvantage allowed England to stamp their authority on the match, especially up front.
The Baby Boks conceded a pushover try and a penalty try in the period that captain Hanro Liebenberg and lock Jason Jenkins were in the sin bin. They rallied with two late tries, but by then it was too late.
Speaking at the post-match conference coach, coach Dawie Theron, said the disappointing first half inflicted the most damage.
“You must give credit for England, who are the defending champions. They came with a massive forward onslaught and were very physical and direct. Both our forwards who were yellow carded are jumpers in the lineout and that disrupted us.
“The fact that we played with seven forwards for 20 minutes in the first half really sapped our energy and left us with too much to do in the end,” said Theron.
Skipper Liebenberg added the Baby Boks could not get going with their set pieces, which allowed England the upper hand.
“We pride ourselves on our set piece play and England did their homework, making it hard for us in those areas. We have a lot of pride to play for against France on Saturday,” said Liebenberg.
New Zealand and England will play Saturday at 20:30 in the final to determine the 2015 champions.
Both matches will be shown live on SuperSport.