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Wales, Argentina, SA and NZU20 reach JWC semis.

IRB.com

IRB.com     13 Jun 2012     IRB.com

- Argentina remain unbeaten to book first ever semi final spot
- South Africa and New Zealand win thrillers to keep title hopes alive

A thrilling finale to the pool phase of the Junior World Championship in South Africa has seen Wales, Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand secure semi final places, but not without some dramatic final moments in Cape Town.

On another extraordinary day of twists and turns, Wales will be seeded one in the knock out stage thanks to a rampant 74-3 victory against Samoa to top pool A. Their reward is another mouth-watering clash against four-time defending champions New Zealand, who reached the semi finals with a bonus-point 33-12 win against Fiji, ensuring they were the best placed runner-up.

Hosts South Africa pulled off a remarkable second half performance against England, scoring four tries to secure the additional bonus point required in a scintillating 28-15 win before a delighted home crowd.

They top Pool B and will face Argentina in the second match at Newlands on Sunday. The Pumitas have remained unbeaten in their passage to a first-ever semi final place at the JWC, and topped Pool C after a 17-12 win over Scotland.

IRB Junior World Championship Tournament Director Philippe Bourdarias said: "The 2012 championship has provided us with another dramatic day of action, and we have a new-look semi final line up as Argentina reach their first ever and Wales return after a four-year absence."

"So far, the players have provided a feast of Rugby for fans both here in Cape Town and across the world with games full of intensity, passion and exceptional skills. We will all look forward to Sunday and see who reaches the final on June 22."

Ireland, France and Australia were all still in with a chance of reaching the final four at the start of the day's action, but will now join England as the battle for fifth to eighth places begins on Sunday.

Despite a comprehensive 41-12 bonus-point win over Italy earlier in the day in Pool B, Ireland were undone by South Africa's victory and will now face England at the University of Western Cape Stadium. Meanwhile, in Pool C, France overcame Australia 31-7 to set up a repeat clash at Newlands in five days time.

Scotland will play Italy and Pacific Island rivals Fiji and Samoa will meet again in the ninth to 12th place semi finals. The team which ultimately loses the 11th place play-off will be relegated to the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2013.

You can stay in touch with all the news from the JWC at www.irb.com/jwc and the fully interactive live tournament updates on Twitter at @irbjuniors or via Facebook atwww.facebook.com/irbjuniorworldrugby.