Ireland battered by Baby Boks

South Africa 57 Ireland 15

South Africa 57 Ireland 15

The Ireland Under-20s were outgunned by a powerful and pacy South African side in tonight's IRB Junior World Championship play-off in Padova.

The sides had met in Treviso last week in the pool stages, with the Baby 'Boks needing a late converted try to end Ireland's challenge in a 42-26 defeat.

Mike Ruddock's youngsters, fresh from beating Scotland 30-13, were hoping to make it back-to-back wins and give themselves a shot at fifth place.

But when they conceded three tries to the South Africans in the opening 13 minutes and went in at half-time 31-3 down, there was simply no way back.

The result means the Irish will face their Six Nations rivals Wales in their final game of the tournament in Treviso on Sunday afternoon. The winners will secure a seventh place finish overall.

It was not good viewing for the Ireland fans present as flanker Cornell du Preez, winger Wandile Mjekevu and number 8 and captain Arno Botha broke through for early tries.

18-year-old out-half Johan Goosen added two conversions for a 19-0 scoreline, and replacement James McKinney then got Ireland off the mark with a well-taken penalty.

Mjekevu and another of the South African speedsters, Tshotsho Mbovane, touched down before the break and the second half was just two minutes' old when centre Jaco Taute scored his side's sixth try.

Credit to Ireland, they were much more competitive over the closing 40 minutes and flanker Eoin McKeon (60 minutes) and out-half Paddy Jackson (77) put the finishing touches to tries.

But South Africa were ruthless and still smarting from their crucial loss to England last time out, they registered three more tries - Mbovane completed his hat-trick and centre Francois Venter also got in on the act.

IRELAND U-20: Tiernan O'Halloran (Galwegians/Connacht); Andrew Conway (Blackrock/Leinster), Brendan Macken (Blackrock/Leinster), Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster), Andrew Boyle (UCD/Leinster); Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Kieran Marmion (UWIC/Exile); James Tracy (UCD/Leinster), Niall Annett (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) (capt), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Michael Kearney (Clontarf/Leinster), Iain Henderson (Queen's University/Ulster), Eoin McKeon (Galwegians/Connacht), David Doyle (UCD/Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster).

Replacements used: James McKinney (Queen's University/Ulster) for Jackson (16-22 mins, blood sub), Daniel Qualter (Buccaneers/Connacht) for Kearney, Alex Kelly (UCD/Leinster) for Marshall, Finlay Bealham (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) for Tracy (all half-time), James McKinney (Queen's University/Ulster) for Macken, Conor Carey (Ballymena/Ulster) for Furlong (both 46), Shane Buckley (Garryowen/Munster) for Murphy (47), Peter du Toit (UCD/Leinster) for Marmion (74).

SOUTH AFRICA U-20: Ulrich Beyers (Blue Bulls); Tshotsho Mbovane (Western Province), Jaco Taute (Golden Lions), Francois Venter (Blue Bulls), Wandile Mjekevu (Golden Lions); Johan Goosen (Free State), Pieter Rademan (Free State); Stephan Kotze (Free State), Michael van Vuuren (Free State), Nic Schonert (KwaZulu-Natal), Jean Cook (Free State), Eben Etzebeth (Western Province), Francois Kleinhans (KwaZulu-Natal), Cornell du Preez (Leopards), Arno Botha (Blue Bulls) (capt).

Replacements used: John Roy Jenkinson (Leopards) for Schonert, Bongi Mbonambi (Blue Bulls) for van Vuuren (both half-time), Paul Jordaan (KwaZulu-Natal) for Venter (45-53 mins, blood sub), Johnny Welthagan (Leopards) for Goosen (54), Lohan Jacobs (Blue Bulls) for Rademan (62), Paul Jordaan (KwaZulu-Natal) for Beyers (66), Nic Schonert (KwaZulu-Natal) for Kotze (67), Nizaam Carr (Western Province) for Kleinhans (70), Carl Wegner (Free State) for Etzebeth (76).

Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)

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