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NZ earn semi-final spot at junior champs

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Update: 9:27AM A convincing 54-7 win over Scotland has enabled hosts New Zealand to qualify for the junior rugby world championship semi-finals.

Having lost to South Africa on Friday, New Zealand needed to earn a four-try bonus point and win by five points or more to oust Australia as the best runner-up for the semi-finals of the under 20 tournament.

They did so in style in wet conditions at Pukekohe, crossing the line eight times.

Tries to Tom Sanders, Josh Renton and Mitchell Jacobson gave New Zealand a 21-0 lead at half-time, and further tries to Renton, Damian McKenzie, TJ Faiane, Vincent Tavae-Aso and Leon Fukofuka pushed the margin out in the second half.

Scotland could only muster a late intercept try to Damien Hoyland.

New Zealand only needed a five point winning margin to advance, along with a bonus point, after main rivals Australia could only beat Italy 29-3 and Wales put the previously unbeaten France out with a surprise victory.

South Africa, England and Ireland qualified through topping their pools.

South Africa had some trouble beating Samoa, pulling away only in the final minutes to win 21-8, while England needed a late penalty to beat Argentina and go through unbeaten.

Ireland beat Fiji 38-0 to qualify for the semi-finals after Wales' victory over France.

New Zealand have a rematch against South Africa on Sunday for a spot in the final, while England will play Ireland in the other semi-final.

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