It doesn't happen a lot that no points are scored in the second half of a game, but thanks to the SA U20s massive character and resilience, which led to a superb defensive effort, that is exactly what happened.

England threw everything they had into the contest but they were repelled by a green defensive wave time after time after time. Even when the Junior Boks lost a few players to injury, the replacements kept on hammering away.

The Junior Boks enjoyed their best start of the tournament and scored two converted tries in the first 20 minutes, by Hennie Sieberhagen (flanker) and Corne Beets (No 8).

Unlike against Ireland in their semi-final on Tuesday, the SA U20s finished their scoring opportunities. If a few refereeing calls went their way and it wasn't for one or two small mistakes, their half-time lead could have been bigger.

Sieberhagen, who made his SA U20 debut after joining the squad as a replacement in the week, went over in the 11th minute after a great run by Quewin Nortje (wing), while Beets crashed through the England defence six minutes later after a period of sustained pressure in their opponents' 22.

England fought back in the second quarter, with Craig Wright (hooker) finishing a counter-attacking move that started in their own 22, but generally the Junior Boks defended very well.

From one of these strong defensive displays, the South Africans turned over the ball, Katlego Letebele kicked a superb 50-22 and from a maul penalty conceded by the English, Juan Else (hooker) drove over to make it 22-8.

England No 8 Zach Carr went over from a lineout maul after the hooter had sounded at the end of the first half and the successful conversion meant the Junior Boks went into the sheds leading by 22-15.

The scorers weren't bothered again - Smith missed an attempted penalty midway through the second half - but the statisticians and analysts would have been very busy counting the myriad of South African tackles.


Junior Springboks 22 (22) - Tries: Hennie Sieberhagen, Corne Beets, Juann Else. Conversions: Jean Smith (2). Penalty goal: Smith.

England U20 15 (15) - Tries: Craig Wright, Zach Carr. Conversion: Connor Slevin. Penalty goal: Connor Slevin.