England U20 24-22 South Africa U20, Mikheil Meskhi Stadium
England skipper Zach Mercer led from the front with the decisive try in the closing stages as the defending champions managed to edge out South Africa by 24-22 in the U20 Championship 2017 semi-final at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium on Tuesday.
This will be the third time in four years, England have reached the final of the tournament and they will be locking horns with New Zealand on Sunday at the same venue for the decider.
Mercer got England off the mark with a second minute try while Max Malins added the conversion to make it 7-0 but number eight Juarno Augustus responded with a try of his own and Curwin Bosch's extras helped South Africa level the scores 7-7 at the end of the 10th minute.
Alex Mitchell went past the line in the 15th minute while Malins' conversion and penalty ensured England raced to 17-7 lead before Augustus' second try at the stroke of half time reduced the gap to five points.
For the first time in the game, South Africa claimed lead in the game when Ruben van Heerden strolled past the post in the 55th minute followed by another conversion from Bosch. Another penalty from the South African fly-half meant they had a five point lead as the game entered the closing stages.
This is when Mercer rumbled past the post in the 75th minute to level the scores 22 and Malins held his nerve with the conversion to complete a two point victory for England.