Baby Boks scrape into semis

The SA U20s suffered a 42-35 defeat against Australia on Sunday but still qualify for the Junior World Championship semi-finals.

The Baby Boks suffered their first loss of the competition after big wins against Scotland (73-0) and Tonga (40-14). Wing Wandile Mjekevu grabbed a brace for the South Africans while fullback Patrick Lambie added 15 points via a try, two conversions and two penalties in the Santa Fe clash.

However, sevens star Dominic Shipperley’s hat-trick and Brumbies pivot Matt Toomua’s 17 points through four conversions and three penalties secured Australia the win.

The SA U20s still qualify for the semi-finals because of their total of 12 log points (the four countries with the most log points qualify) and they will face defending champions New Zealand on Thursday. Australia will meet England in the other main play-off.

‘The guys are bitterly disappointed with the defeat, but the motivation to win the Junior World Championship is still there,’ said Baby Boks captain CJ Stander.

‘It’s never a nice feeling to lose a game and the players admitted to each other we don’t intend to suffer a feeling like we did today again in the tournament. We’re a tight group of players and management, and I believe the guys will stand up on Thursday.’

Day 3 results:

New Zealand 43-10 Wales
Samoa 12-15 Fiji
England 17-9 France
Argentina 24-21 Ireland
Scotland 27-3 Tonga
South Africa 35-42 Australia

Semi-final fixtures, 17 June:
9th place semi-finals:
Ireland vs Samoa
Scotland vs Tonga

5th place semi-finals:
Wales vs Argentina
France vs Fiji

Main semi-finals:
Australia vs England
New Zealand vs South Africa