Race for JWC glory down to final four
June 12, 2012
South Africa's Pieter-Steph du Toit shrugs off the England defence during their clash in Cape Town © Getty Images
The semi-final line-up for this year's IRB Junior World Championship has been decided with Wales set to play New Zealand and Argentina due to meet South Africa.
South Africa and New Zealand secured vital bonus point victories in the final round of pool matches to join Wales and Argentina in the final four after a day of twists and turns in Cape Town.
The Baby Boks scored four second half tries through openside Shaun Adendorff (2), centre William Small-Smith and blindside Pieter-Steph du Toit to power past England 28-15 to the delight of the home crowd at Cape Town Stadium. The result not only ended England's hopes of a third successive final appearance but also dashed Ireland's chances of progressing to the semi-finals for the first itme.
New Zealand found life tough going against Fiji and led only 7-5 at half-time, but four second half tries - the final two by centre Jason Emery - secured a 28-12 victory and the vital bonus point to put them into the semi-finals as the best runner-up across the three pools.
The four-time champions now face Wales, the side that ended their 21-match unbeaten run on the Junior World Championship stage earlier in the competition, in the semi-finals at Newlands on Sunday. Wales made it three wins out of three in their pool with a 74-3 hammering of Samoa earlier today.
First time semi-finalists Argentina, who continued their unbeaten run in this year's competition with a 17-12 victory over Scotland in their final pool outing, also tackle hosts South Africa on Sunday with both games scheduled for the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town that will also host the finale on June 22.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham