The Baby Blacks have been dumped out of the World Rugby U20 Championship, going down 25-17 to South Africa at the Racecourse Stadium in Rosario.
All New Zealand needed to do to advance to the semifinals was to pick up a bonus point in their last pool game, but they struggled against a South African side up front, made too many errors and couldn’t capitalise on their opponents having three players sent to be bin over the game.
Fullback Vaughen Isaacs scored in the seventh minute for South Africa, who made ground up the middle with their forwards, then found space on the right for Isaacs to score.
Then 12 minutes later JJ van der Mescht stole a ball from a New Zealand line out and showed great speed for a lock to run 50m to score.
Jaden Hendriske kicked three penalties for South Africa in the first half, while New Zealand’s only points came from a Fergus Burke penalty in the 34th minute.
Five minutes into the second half New Zealand were awarded a penalty try when James Molentze tackled Kaylum Boshier while he was attempting to ground a grubber kicked in goal.
Molentze was shown a yellow card for his actions and New Zealand were back in the game.
However, the Baby Blacks weren’t able to score again with a numerical advantage and in the 57th minute found themselves camped on their goal line with South Africa throwing everything at them.
The pressure from South Africa was relentless, but New Zealand were given a reprieve when an error eventually came as a South African player went for the line.
But even though South Africa weren’t able to score, the pressure was building on New Zealand to at least pick up a bonus point to advance to the semifinals.
They got close to the line in the 64th minute before openside forward Kohan Herbert threw a poor inside pass that was knocked on.
Mistakes came from both sides as the minutes ticked by, but in the 70th minute the Baby Blacks got monstered in a scrum on their 22m line and Sanele Nohamba kicked a penalty from it to go up 22-10.
That meant it really was desperation time for New Zealand and they quickly got close to the South African line and looked to get the breakthrough with their forwards.
That didn’t work, but when the ball was eventually thrown by Billy Proctor to Lalomilo Lamolilo out on the right, the space was there for him to score.
While Burke kicked the conversion, New Zealand conceded another penalty soon after, which Nohamba kicked with two minutes to go.
The final act came when Etene Nanai-Seturo knocked the ball on as panic swept through the New Zealand team.
New Zealand captain Kianu Kereru-Symes admitted they found it though to live with the South Africans in the first half and found themselves playing catch up.
“The South African boys brought the pressure that we knew they were going to bring,” Kereu-Symes said.
“We didn’t adapt properly to it until the last few minutes of the first half, which was a bit too late to get into the game. A well deserved win for them and all credit.”
Kereru-Symes said the word at half time was for the team to go back to keeping things simple and while worked to some extent, they still couldn’t handle the South African forward pack.
“Our main message was to stick to our processes and take our time,” he said.
“In the first half we were rushing our plays a bit and that’s why we were put under pressure quite a lot.
“But we done that, we took our time and we got some good results out of it, but couldn’t quite execute.”
New Zealand will play Wales on Tuesday in the battle for fifth to eighth place. The semifinals to help find the tournament winners will also be held on Tuesday, with Argentina taking on Australia and South Africa going up against France.
Source link : https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/113444745/baby-blacks-lose-to-south-africa-out-of-under-20-world-champs
Publish date : 2019-06-12 22:54:00