Preview: New Zealand v South Africa #JWC2014
James Mortimer 15 Jun 2014 Getty Images
Only the electric feet and try scoring nose of Tevita Lee allowed the hosts to keep in touch against a South African team that man for man looked as monstrous as their senior Springboks counterparts.
Thankfully, it was Samoa who proved that the rematch may not be as imposing as initially thought.
The Pacific Islanders were unyielding against the South African onslaught, showing that even the biggest Under 20s team in the competition can be made to look mortal.
While the 21-8 win allowed the Junior Springboks to still claim the pool, later in the day New Zealand ran riot against Scotland to record a crucial bonus point 54-7 triumph.
It was this display where the home outfit were able to showcase the game that head coach Chris Boyd wants his charges to play – fast moving ball handling forwards giving plenty of possession to a dynamic backline.
While the Kiwi team had Wales to thank for their second life (the Welsh defeated Under 20s Grand Slam champions France 13-3), Australia wouldn’t have been very grateful, with the emphatic victory for the hosts knocking the Junior Wallabies out of the top four.
Samoa will play Australia whiles Wales will meet France to play for fifth place; Argentina versus Fiji and Italy and Scotland will contest the right for ninth position.
Experience however will be the difference in the semi-finals.
Two of the four captains are no stranger to winning semi-finals.
South Africa's Handre Pollard was part of the Junior Boks side to win the title on home soil in 2012, while England’s Callum Braley was a member of the first northern hemisphere team to lift the coveted trophy.
New Zealand meanwhile have lost Simon Hickey, ensuring that Anton Lienert-Brown assumes the captaincy, but the absence of the Blues first five-eighth due to an ankle injury should only serve to motivate the most successful team in the competition.
Their entry through the back door to the semi-finals preserved their record of reaching the top four of every IRB Junior World Championship.
“We managed to sneak through to the semis, which we are really excited about and really want to make the most of,” he said.
However New Zealand was wary about a South African team that had far too much power and poise up front.
“They really controlled the game, they controlled the tempo and we are really looking to speed it up this time,” the home team’s skipper said.
The match kicks off at 19:30pm New Zealand time, and will be live scored via twitter.com/abslivescore
1 Atunaisa Moli
2 Epalahame Faiva
3 Tau Koloamatangi
4 James Tucker
5 Geoffrey Cridge
6 Kyle Harris
7 Lachlan Boshier
8 Tom Sanders
9 Mitchell Drummond
10 Richie Mo’unga
11 Tevita Li
12 TJ Faiane
13 Anton Lienert-Brown, captain
14 Vince Tavae –Aso
15 Damian McKenzie
16 James O’Reilly
17 Scott Mellow
18 Tim Cadwallader
19 Mathew Peni
20 Troy Callander
21 Josh Renton
22 Kaveinga Finau
23 David Havili
15. Warrick Gelant
14. Lloyd Greeff
13. Jesse Kriel
12. Andre Esterhuizen
11. Sergeal Petersen
10. Handré Pollard (captain)
9. JP Smith
8. Aidon Davis
7. Cyle Brink
6. Jacques Vermeulen
5. Nico Janse van Rensburg
4. JD Schickerling
3. Dayan van der Westhuizen
2. Corniel Els
1. Thomas du Toit
16. Joseph Dweba
17. Pierre Schoeman
18. Wilco Louw
19. Abongile Nonkontwana
20. Victor Sekekete
21. Zee Mkhabela
22. Jean-Luc du Plessis
23. Dan Kriel
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