France and England to lock horns in World Rugby U20 Championship final

U20 Semi Finals - England vs South Africa
U20 Semi Finals - England vs South Africa
©World Rugby

England managed to overcome a late Asenathi Ntlabakanye try as they edged out South Africa in the semi-final while France outplayed New Zealand in Perpignan in the second knock-out game in the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Both England and France will now meet each other in the final at Stade de la Mediterranee in Beziers on 17th June.

England U20 32-31 South Africa U20, Narbonne

South Africa suffered an early setback when Muller Uys was sin-binned in the fifth minute for a late tackle on Marcus Smith and England made full use of the numerical advantage when full-back Tom Parton and centre Tom Hardwick crossed over and the fly-half added the conversion on the second occasion.

Smith counterattacked with the ball in hand perfectly releasing Gabriel Ibitoye and eventually Ben White and the fly-half also added the conversion to take the score to 19-0. The response from South Africa finally came in the 33rd minute when Sazi Sandi crossed over and the fullback Gianni Lombard slotted the conversion. With his first penalty at the stroke of half-time, Smith ensured England headed into the break with a 22-7 lead.

Uys returned from the sin-bin and he made an impact when he dotted down in the 45th minute and despite Smith's penalty, South Africa' Ruan Nortje added a further try to take the scoreline to 25-19. A try from Jordan Olowofela gave England a breather and South Africa added two more tries - one apiece from Manuel Rass (67') and Ntlabakanye (74') with the second coming after a sin-bin to James Scott but England managed to hold on to their nerve to seal a 32-31 victory.

New Zealand U20 7-16 France U20, Perpignan

The game had a sedate start with both the teams failing to score a point in the first 30 minutes before Louis Carbonel kicked a penalty goal for France. France stepped up the accelerator when Romain Ntamack crossed over in the 42nd minute and Carbonel kicked a conversion and a penalty to take the scoreline to 0-13.

France went on to increase their lead to 16 points with the third penalty coming from Carbonel. New Zealand finally managed to open their account in the final 10 minutes with a converted try from Harry Plummer but they succumbed to a nine point defeat.