Planet Rugby

England and South Africa make final

15th June 2014 10:15

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South Africa U20 fly half Handre Pollard on a run

Impressive: Handre Pollard

England will take on South Africa in the Junior World Championship final after they defeated Ireland and New Zealand in their respective semi-final.

The English were the first to book their place in the finale as they dominated Ireland, winning 42-15, before South Africa edged the host nation 32-25 in one of the games of the 2014 tournament.

England 42-15 Ireland

A blistering first-half display saw England blow first-time semi-finalists Ireland out of the water and keep their hopes of defending the title alive, the Irish simply unable to live with the English power, running lines and line speed on defence.

Harry Sloan scored the first of England's four tries before the break, but it was Howard Packman's try that was the pick of the bunch, fly-half Billy Burns spotting the Ireland defence had all been sucked in and kicking across for the wing to take in his stride and race over the try-line for his country.

Ireland lost captain Jack O'Donoghue just before the break to a head knock, but without him they battled bravely and while the win was by then beyond them, they battled bravely to the finish and were rewarded with tries from Garry Ringrose and Alex Wootton. England were not to be denied a fifth final appearance with flanker Gus Jones adding their final try.

South Africa 32-25 New Zealand

Just when sudden death extra-time seemed to be looming at QBE Stadium in the second semi-final with the scores locked at 25-25, South Africa got up a head of steam with a driving maul and hooker Corniel Els dotted down in the corner to break New Zealand hearts.

New Zealand had been overpowered by South Africa in the Junior World Championship pool stages, but this was a much-improved performance that got off to the perfect start when hooker Hame Faiva raced down the touchline to open the scoring in the fourth minute.

South Africa captain Handre Pollard - who during the match became the leading point scorer at both JWC 2014 and in the competition's history - pulled his side ahead after judging a pass well to intercept and race clear under the posts for an opportunistic score.

The Baby Blacks, with Damian McKenzie a livewire at full back, hit back again through Tevita Li but South Africa would have been relieved to go in trailing just 15-10. The seesaw nature continued after the break with Sergeal Petersen and Vincent Tavae-Aso trading tries before South Africa fought back from 25-20 down with tries from Andre Esterhuizen and Els.

Results

SEMI FINAL - England 42-15 Ireland
SEMI FINAL - South Africa 32-25 New Zealand
Argentina 38-12 Fiji
Australia 53-16 Samoa
Italy 18-21 Scotland
Wales 18-19 France

With thanks to the IRB

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