Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Latest Feature

'Guys laughed at me, I'd go to the bathroom and cry' - How Agustin Creevy, 38, has stayed at the top

Once ridiculed and lampooned, Sale Sharks' Argentine colossus is still going strong.

South Africa outmuscle England to secure third at World Rugby U20s

By Kim Ekin
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 14: Reagan Izaks of South Africa during the World Rugby U20 Championship 2023, 3rd place play-off match between South Africa and England at Athlone Sports Stadium on July 14, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

South Africa secured their ninth U20 Championship bronze medal by defeating England 22-15 in an intense encounter at Athlone Sports Stadium in Cape Town.


In the first half, all points were scored, with South Africa responding strongly after England took an early lead with a penalty from Connor Slevin.

Despite struggling in the scrums, South Africa’s forward pack excelled in other areas, particularly in counter-rucking and mauling, effectively challenging England. Flanker Hennie Sieberhagen scored the first try with a pick-and-go, followed by Corné Beets with a close-range effort after Damian Markus put England on the back foot with a powerful run. Jean Smith’s penalty increased South Africa’s lead to 17 points unanswered.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

England responded with a remarkable try created by winger Cassius Cleaves, who made a brilliant break from his own 22-meter line and found Craig Wright, who for an unstoppable run to the try line. However, South Africa’s resolute defense prevented England from gaining momentum, and Juann Else scored for the Junior Springboks from an advancing maul.

Before halftime, England scored from a lineout drive, closing the gap to a one-score game with Slevin’s conversion. In the early second half, England dominated, but South Africa held strong. Afolabi Fasogbon’s excellent turnover within England’s 22 halted a sustained South African attack, and Alex Wills went close to scoring for England.

The game became a battle between the forwards in the middle of the field, with limited opportunities for both teams. South Africa had a chance to break the deadlock with a penalty attempt by Jean Smith in the 67th minute, but it went wide. England finished strongly but failed to convert breaks from Cunningham-South and Wills into points, as South Africa repeatedly capitalized on turnover ball, denying England any scoring chances.


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
FEATURE Unsung, underpaid, overworked: Are analysts any closer to ‘solving’ rugby? Unsung, underpaid, overworked: Are analysts any closer to ‘solving’ rugby?