NZ,Aus, France and England into Semi-finals

New Zealand, France and England have qualified for the semi finals of the IRB Junior World Championship 2011 as pool winners with Australia edging out South Africa for the remaining place as the best runner up across the three pools.


Australia and South Africa both finish with 11 points after losing to France (31-25) and England (26-20) respectively in their Pool deciders on Saturday, but David Nucifora’s side have a point differential of +66 in comparison to the Baby Boks’ +43.


South Africa therefore miss out on the semi finals for the first time in JWC history with Australia to face New Zealand, the side which beat them 62-17 in last year’s final, in the second semi final at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo on Wednesday.


The other will see France, celebrating after reaching the Junior World Championship semi finals for the first time, face familiar foes England in the 18:00 kick-off at the same venue.


South Africa must pick themselves up to face Ireland with Wales tackling Fiji in the semi finals for fifth to eighth place in Padova, while the threat of relegation to the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2012 hangs over the losers of the Argentina v Italy and Scotland v Tonga encounters in Rovigo.


South Africa’s coach Dawie Theron said the team was guilty of conceding numerous handling errors at crucial passages of the game.


“We are naturally disappointed with the defeat, but the guys showed plenty of guts to battle on till the end,” said Theron.


“Everyone – players and management – are gutted with the result. We created numerous opportunities to score points, and on the day composure and patience I guess cost us a close game which could have gone either way.


“We’ve got two more matches to go, and I am positive that the 26 players here in Italy will go all out to show South Africa what this team is capable of. Our goal now is to end this tournament with two victories.”


The semifinals are on Wednesday in Treviso.


Results from Saturday’s Junior Rugby World Championship matches in Italy:


Wales 56, Italy 6
New Zealand 48, Argentina 15
Fiji 36, Tonga 18
France 31, Australia 25
England 26, South Africa 20
Ireland 30, Scotland 13

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