South Africa U20 beat France 43-27 to secure their place in the IRB Junior World Championship semi-final.
The victory saw them top their pool and they will now meet England on 17 June in Tokyo.
The Baby Boks were 20-0 down within 20 minutes, but rallied to score 22 points during a 10 minute period either side of half-time while France were reduce to 14 players.
The French were stunned and never looked like recovering, and the Baby Boks duly blitzed them in the remainder of the half.
Coach Eric Sauls lauded his team’s character under pressure and said the lesson learnt would stand them in good stead later in the tournament.
‘I told the players at half time that if we put the French under pressure, they’ll concede penalties for us to score points as they are a very emotional team when it comes to pressure situations on the field. That’s exactly what happened today,’ he said.
‘A lot of credit must also go to the manner in which the guys kept their cool on the field. We stuck to the basics and to our structures and as a result, despite playing catch-up rugby, scored five tries in 50 minutes in a pressure game. We never allowed the French any momentum in the second half.
‘The guys will enjoy and celebrate this great win and we’ll start our preparations for the England game on Monday.’
South Africa U20 – Tries: Sampie Mastriet (2), Jan Andre Marais, Ross Cronje, Lionel Cronje. Conversions: Francois Brummer (3). Penalties: Brummer (3). Drop-goal: Sias Ebersohn.
France U20 – Tries: Alexandre Lapandry, Geoffrey Doumayrou. Penalty try. Conversions: Pierre Bernard (3). Penalties: Bernard (2).
More to follow…