South Africa staged a remarkable second-half comeback to defeat France 43-27 and claim a place amongst the top four who can still win the IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship 2009.
South Africa trailed a rampant France 20-0 after 30 minutes, but the sin binning of France’s Pierre Bernard just before half time changed the course of the match, played in front of 6,400 fans at Hanazono Stadium in Osaka.
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South Africa will play England in one of the semi finals on Wednesday 17 June. In the other, Australia will face New Zealand.
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Defending champions New Zealand found themselves 6-3 down at half time to Argentina before finding their form in the second half to emerge 48-9 winners.
England defeated Samoa 52-7 and Australia overcame Wales 38-5.
Argentina, Scotland, Fiji and Tonga finished third in their pools and in the top 12 for qualification for the IRB Junior World Championship 2010 in Argentina. Uruguay, Japan, Italy and Canada, who all finished bottom of their pools, will not be playing in next year’s JWC and will participate in regional qualifying for the second-tier IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2010.
Hosts Japan, 12-0 down at half time against Scotland, staged a second-half comeback in front of 15,242 fans in Tokyo, but were only able to cross Scotland’s tryline once as they went down 12-7.
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The next round of matches at the IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship 2009, including the semi finals, takes place on Wednesday 17 June.
**WATCH THE SEMI FINALS LIVE AND ON-DEMAND AT WWW.IRB.COM/JWC**