New Zealand produced a stirring revival with decisive tries either side of halftime to overcome Wales 30-6 in the first semifinal at Newlands on Sunday, ensuring the defending champions reached their fifth successive Junior World Championship final.
Their reward is to play hosts, South Africa, who overpowered Argentina 35-3 in front of nearly 20 000 fans to reach a first ever final. The sides meet on Friday, June 22 again at Newlands, kick off 18.45 local time.
In a thrilling match France defeated Australia 19-17, with the lead changing hands three times in the last 10 minutes, to set up a fifth-place play off against Ireland. France replacement Thomas Laranjeira snatched victory with a drop goal with just seven second-half minutes remaining on the clock.
Ireland were determined to avenge their loss to England in the pool stages and raced into a 17-0 lead at halftime and this time, unlike in round two, they did not take their foot off the pedal with JJ Hanrahan’s boot making certain of a 27-12 victory at the University of Western Cape Stadium.
The result means Ireland have guaranteed their best-ever JWC finish, while England and Australia both face their worst as the seventh place play-off on Friday.
In the opening matches of the day, Scotland and Samoa both secured wins, leaving Italy and Fiji to contest the relegation battle which will determine who drops down to the Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2013. The loser will swap places with the winner of this year’s Trophy, which kicks off in Salt Lake City tomorrow.
You can stay in touch with all the news from the JWC at www.irb.com/jwc
and the fully interactive live tournament updates on Twitter at @irbjuniors or via Facebook atwww.facebook.com/irbjuniorworldrugby.