June International Tours

New Zealand, South Africa in U19 final

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The Baby Blacks will play the Bay Boks in the final of the International Rugby Board’s Under-19 World Championship being played in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Neither had particular problems in winning their semi-final matches on Tuesday.

The Baby Boks beat the reigning champions, Australia, 32-18 while the Baby Blacks were much too strong for the willing Welsh, winning 36-12. The New Zealanders clinched the match at half-time and scored only one try in the second half, the last act of the match.

Scotland had to battle to beat Fiji 11-7, England beat Argentina 31-13, France beast Samoa 25-13 and Ireland beat Japan 31-10.

The match details and reports are supplied by the IRB.

NB * = replacement who played

South Africa vs Australia, 32-18

South Africa booked their place in the Division A final of the IRB Under-19 World Championship 2007 after out-muscling defending champions Australia at Ravenhill to triumph 32-18 on Tuesday 17 April.

Australia had actually opened the scoring with a second minute penalty from centre Rowan Kellam, but from then on in the first half it was the South African pack who assumed control of the game, putting the defending champions under pressure at every set piece.

South Africa won two scrums against the head and were rewarded for their pressure when centre Stephan Dippenaar picked up a loose ball from a turn-over and fed his hooker Henri Bantjes, who barged his way over the line from five metres out in the seventh minute.

Stefan Watermeyer failed to convert, but such was South Africa’s dominance at the breakdown that it was inevitable further tries would follow, fullback Wilton Pietersen making amends for failing to touch down minutes earlier to slice through the Australian defence to score.

Watermeyer added the conversion this time and then kicked a penalty to give South Africa a 15-3 lead at half-time, just rewards for their first half performance against an Australian side who appeared shell-shocked and turned the ball over at vital times to leave little ball for their backs.

Australia came out with renewed purpose in the second half, unwilling to surrender their crown without a fight, but it was South Africa who stretched their lead when a driving maul over the line saw loosehead prop Corne Fourie emerge with the ball and a huge grin on his face.

Watermeyer’s conversion drifted wide and nine minutes into the second half second row Rob Simmons boosted Australian hope of a revival when he scored after great work by hooker James Hanson, who popped the ball inside before going into touch, for an easy try.

The conversion attempt from Kellam missed and as Australia began to find a foothold in the game, some tough tackling from South Africa kept them at bay. This tackling soon turned defence into attack as Australia turned the ball over and Dippenaar to take play into their opponents’ half.

Dippenaar passed out of the tackle to Pietersen, who appeared to have the legs to score only for wing Blair Connor to bravely hang on and bring him to a standstill. Sadly for Connor, flyhalf Francois Brummer came charging up in support to score under the posts for the Baby Boks.

The conversion by Watermeyer stretched the advantage to 27-8, but once more Australia refused to lie down and a probing kick from centre Mitchell Inman forced South Africa to concede a lineout only five metres from their try line.

Quick thinking from wing Alfi Mafi meant 17-year-old Simmons had the easy task of diving over the line unchallenged for his second try of the match, cutting the deficit to 27-13. Australian hopes were raised again when Pietersen was sinbinned with around seven minutes remaining.

Australia though would need two converted tries to draw level. They got one when Mafi finished off an exciting backline move to score a try, which was awarded after consultation with t

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