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South Africa beat NZ in U-20s rugby

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Update: 12:32AM New Zealand's hopes of reaching the junior rugby world championship semi-finals took a knock when they were outplayed 33-24 by South Africa in pool play on Friday.

Blues winger Tevita Li's hat-trick provided the only highlight for the Kiwis, in a game where they struggled continually at the set piece, particularly at line-out time.

Trailing 14-17 at halftime, the South Africans dominated the second spell with tries to skipper Handre Pollard, winger Lloyd Greef and fullback Warrick Gelant sealing the win.

With the top team from each pool qualifying for the semis, New Zealand need a big win over Scotland in their last match of pool play on Tuesday to have any hope of going through as the best second-placed team.

In other pool matches on Friday, Italy edged Argentina 29-26 in pool A while defending champions England picked up their second win from two matches, running in five tries to three for a 38-24 win over Australia.

France also added another win to their tally in pool B, backing up an earlier 19-13 win over Ireland with an emphatic 37-5 win against Fiji.

In the second pool B match, Ireland collected their first win with a 35-21 victory over Wales while Samoa accounted for Scotland 27-18 in the other pool C game

In the first round of pool play on Monday, New Zealand outclassed Samoa 48-12, scoring seven tries to two in a high-tempo match while South Africa kicked off their campaign with a nine-try 61-5 crushing of Scotland.

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