Left wing Lolagi Visinia opened the scoring for the Baby Blacks in the seventh minute, and then scored a second try five minutes later to give the New Zealand team a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter. Lock Joseph Edwards crashed over to extend this lead to 21-0, with first five-eighth Simon Hickey converting all three tries.
South Africa responded with a try to right wing Luther Obi and this was followed by another five-pointer to tight-head prop Luan de Bruin. Seabelo Senatla snatched an intercept and ran 60 meters to draw the scores level with only minutes to play in the first half. However New Zealand was not done; fullback Joseph Webber scored on the stroke of halftime to give the New Zealand team the lead 26-21 as the siren sounded.
New Zealand opened the scoring in the second half through Simon Hickey who kicked a penalty, however the South Africans had the better of the possession stakes and converted this into points when the opportunity presented. Yellow cards to two New Zealand players within the last 30 minutes of the match gave the Baby Boks the numbers advantage they needed to put the game beyond reach of the New Zealand team.
Tries to Ruan Steenkamp, replacement Kwagga Smith, and halfback Stefan Ungerer left the Baby Blacks behind 41-29 with three minutes to play. Jordan Manihera crossed in the 77th minute, but it was too late with South Africa running out winners 41-34.
New Zealand 34 (Tries: Lolagi Visinia 2 tries, Joseph Edwards, Joseph Webber, Jordan Manihera. Simon Hickey 3 con, 1 pen) lost to South Africa 41 (Tries: Luther Obi, Luan de Bruin, Seabelo Senatla, Ruan Steenkamp, Kwagga Smith, Stefan Ungerer. Handre Pollard 4 con, 1 pen).
Yellow cards: Jordan Manihera (52nd minute) & Kalafi Pongi (60th minute).
New Zealand 26 – South Africa 21
Head Coach: Chris Boyd
Assistant Coaches: Chris Gibbes and Liam Barry
Manager: Paul McLaughlan
Additional Media Information:
New Zealand Under 20 IRB Junior World Championship results summary:
Pool B: New Zealand, Ireland, Australia & Fiji
Venue: Stade de Rabine, Vannes
Game 1 - Wednesday 5 June, 8.45pm: New Zealand 59 v Fiji 6, Vannes
NZ U20 59 (Tries: Fa’asiu Fuatai 2, Michael Collins 2, Ardie Savea, Lolagi Visinia, Leroy van Dam, Scott Scrafton, Jordan Manihera . Tayler Adams 2 con, 2 pen. Tei Walden 2 con.) beat Fiji U20 6 (2 pen).
Game 2 - Sunday 9 June, 8.45pm: New Zealand 14 v Australia 10, Vannes
NZ U20 14 (Try: Joseph Edwards. Simon Hickey 3 pen) beat Australia U20 10 (Try: Luke Burton. Reece Hodge 1 con, 1 pen).
Game 3 - Thursday 13 June, 6.45pm: New Zealand 14 v Ireland 11, Vannes
NZ U20 14 (Try: Patrick Tuipulotu. Simon Hickey 3 pen) beat Ireland U20 11 (Try: Tom Farrell. Scannell 2 pen).
New Zealand U20 21 (Epalahame Faiva try. Simon Hickey 1 pen. Jade Te Rure 2 pen, 1 con) lost to England 33 (Matt Hankin, Anthony Watson, Jack Clifford tries. Henry Slade 4 pen, 3 con).
Sunday 23 June, 3.15pm (Monday 24 June, 1.15am). New Zealand 34 v South Africa 41.
Post-match opportunities for New Zealand media (to be arranged pre-game):
Coach and captain will be available for media during a brief window post-match. Please contact Doug McSweeney
(NZ Under 20 Media Liaison) on 021 244 7838 for details.