Baby Springboks down Baby Blacks in France
The New Zealand Under-20 rugby team have finished fourth at the Junior World Cup, losing 41-34 to South Africa in the third-place playoff this morning.
The Baby Blacks rushed out to a 21-0 lead at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes, France, with two tries from left winger Lolagi Visinia and one from No 8 Joseph Edwards, but conceded 21 points in the last six minutes of the half to let South Africa back in.
Despite this, the Kiwis still took a 26-21 advantage into the break thanks to fullback Joseph Webber dotting down on the stroke of halftime.
Their previous lapse, however, as well as second half yellow cards to both Jordan Manihera and Kalafi Pongi, cost Chris Boyd's side of any chance of leaving France on a winning note.
They extended their advantage to eight points with a Simon Hickey penalty early in the second half, but then ill-discipline cost them.
When Irish referee Dudley Phillips sent Manihera then Pongi to the sin-bin, the Baby Boks pounced, scoring 20 points to open up a 41-29 lead.
Manihera scored with six minutes to go leaving his side a converted try short of drawing level but the South African defence held on.
England, who accounted fro New Zealand in the semi-final, became first time champions by beating Wales 23-15 in the final.
France beat Argentina 37-34 in the fifth-sixth playoff while Australia beat Ireland 28-17 to secure seventh.
South Africa 41 (Tries: Luther Obi, Luan de Bruin, Seabelo Senatla, Ruan Steenkamp, Kwagga Smith, Stefan Ungerer. Handre Pollard 4 con, 1 pen) beat New Zealand 34 (Tries: Lolagi Visinia 2 tries, Joseph Edwards, Joseph Webber, Jordan Manihera. Simon Hickey 3 con, 1 pen).
Referee: Dudley Phillips. Halftime: 21-26. Yellow cards: Jordan Manihera, Kalafi Pongi.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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