Friday, June 22, 2012
Tonight the Baby Boks host the Baby Blacks in what should be a bruising IRB Junior World Championship 2012 final. A record crowd is expected at Newlands, as the hosts take on the defending champions after both won their semi finals convincingly.
South Africa got to the final by way of beating Argentina 35-3 in the semi final, while New Zealand exacted revenge on Wales with a comfortable 30-6 victory. The two old rivals are now set for a Newlands dream final, which will take part in front of a record 30 000 (plus) fans.
"It is a childhood dream to play South Africa, especially in their home stadium in a final. There’s nothing more than a Kiwi boy wants than to play a final, especially against a South African team as good as they are. It’s a dream, not only for myself but for all the boys," said Baby Black Bryn Hall.
South Africa's Wian Liebenberg said that to be win the tournament, you have to beat the best.
"It doesn’t really matter which team we play against but I would say playing against New Zealand is special in the sense that whenever New Zealand and South Africa are playing against each other it is going to be a big match. Since I was a little boy I always dreamt of wearing the green and gold and standing in front of a fully packed stadium and singing the national anthem.
"It’s a special moment, in fact it’s more than special. I think it’s an opportunity that you dream of forever, so standing there while you’re holding the guy next to you tightly and you’re looking at the crowd, it’s just amazing. You can’t put it into words," he explained.
"It is such a privilege playing for your country, just giving your all for that jersey you’re wearing."
Both sides suffered a loss earlier in the tournament, with South Africa going down to Ireland and New Zealand famously being beaten by Wales. This final will be only the second time the two sides have met in the tournament, after New Zealand won their 2010 semi final clash in Argentina.
Final Kick off: 6:45pm local time (4:45am in NZ, 5:45pm in UK)
Third Place Play off: Argentina vs Wales - 4:30pm local time
Below are highlights of both the semi finals, and the official Final preview
Note: There are three videos in the above playlist
Credit: Thanks to the IRB for the footage and the quotes