NZU20 heartbreak in Junior World Championship Final

Getty Images     23 Jun 2012     Getty Images

Playing in front of a crowd of over 35,000, New Zealand went to the break with the slimmest of leads 10 - 9 but South Africa scored first in the second half giving them the lead and momentum to stay ahead for the rest of the second half.

Captain Bryn Hall said they were hugely disappointed not to come away with the win.

"I am really proud of the way our boys gave it everything, we didn't give up," he said.

New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) Chief Executive Steve Tew congratulated the team for a courageous Final effort.

"Five consecutive Finals at the Junior World Championship is a wonderful achievement for New Zealand and we are proud of the boys. This has been a challenging campaign for them, and facing a strong South African side at home is never easy so we are feeling for Rob and the team.

"We are proud of the record New Zealand holds at this tournament and the boys can hold their heads up for the gutsy performance they put in today," Tew said.