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Big day in the JWC as the U20 semi final line ups are confirmed

England, Ireland, South Africa, and the hosts New Zealand have been confirmed as the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship semi finalists.

A 38-0 victory for Ireland over Fiji early on in the day saw them secure top spot in Group B as Wales beat France to leave each side with two victories, however Ireland’s superior bonus point count left them top.

A bonus point for Wales could have seen them sneak through as a best placed second place team, however with just a 13-3 win over France, that left Australia in pole position for that spot following their 29-3 victory over Italy. The place was only Australia’s though if New Zealand were unable to secure a bonus point victory over Scotland later in the day.

England were already assured of a semi final spot having beaten Italy and Australia comfortably, however they were keen to sustain their momentum and form against Argentina.

They only just managed to do so though, requiring a late Sam Olver penalty to secure a 17-16 victory over the Pumas – who put in a performance that belied their poor results to date.

South Africa were nearly given a similar scare against Samoa. They too were assured of a semi final spot but went 5-0 down at half time, however they recovered to win 21-8 and remain the tournament favourites.

All of which left just that final game of the day, New Zealand v Scotland. The Baby Blacks required a bonus point victory and a minimum points difference of plus five. It was not an unlikely result but having lost to both South Africa and Samoa, Scotland were sure to be up for this one as they looked to restore pride.

In the end though the Baby Blacks showed their strength and determination to put a rather unpleasant looking scoreline on the Scots as they charged to a 54-7 victory to secure their semi final spot.

That victory means that New Zealand face their big rivals South Africa in the semi final. Given that the South Africans beat the Baby Blacks 33-24 in the group stage, that makes the South Africans favourites for this one, and probably the tournament.

England face the U20 Six Nations champions Ireland in the semi finals, it will be Ireland’s first ever semi final as they seek to halt England from their charge to retain the trophy.

In the 5th place semi finals Wales repeat today’s fixture against France, meaning that they will likely be narrow favourites, while Australia, who almost made the main semis, play Samoa – a fixture the Wallabies will expect to win.

In the play offs for 9th place Scotland face Italy and Argentina play Fiji.

All eyes will be on England v Ireland at 06.05 on Sunday though, followed by that huge South Africa v New Zealand clash at 08.35.

Semi Finals:

Sunday 08.35 – South Africa v New Zealand

Sunday 06.05 – England v Ireland

5th Place Semis:

Sunday 03.35 – Australia v Samoa

Sunday 06.35 – Wales v France

9th Place Semis:

Sunday 04.05 – Italy v Scotland

Sunday 01.35 – Argentina v Fiji

Group A Results:

Australia 29-3 Italy

England 17-16 Argentina

Group A Standings

 

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

England

3

3

0

0

14

Australia

3

2

0

1

10

Italy

3

1

0

2

4

Argentina

3

0

0

3

2

Group B Results:

Ireland 38-0 Fiji

Wales 13-3 France

Group B Standings

 

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

Ireland

3

2

0

1

11

Wales

3

2

0

1

9

France

3

2

0

1

9

Fiji

3

0

0

3

0

Group C Results:

Samoa 8-21 South Africa

New Zealand 54-7 Scotland

Group C Standings

 

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

South Africa

3

3

0

0

14

New Zealand

3

2

0

1

10

Samoa

3

1

0

2

4

Scotland

3

0

0

3

0

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