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Otley duo beaten by Baby Boks in South Africa
Leeds Carnegie's Otley loan duo Chris Walker, who captained the side, and Dominic Barrow were in the England Under-20 team that were beaten 28-15 by hosts South Africa in the International Rugby Board's Junior World Championship in Cape Town.
Both played for the full 80 minutes, as did Leeds full back Tommy Bell, who was loaned last season from Wasps.
After a low scoring, but physical, first half the Baby Boks came out of the blocks all guns blazing in the second period, scoring four tries on the way to a bonus-point win.
The loss means England will not contest the semi- finals for the first time since the competition’s inception in 2008.
Instead they prepare for a fifth-place semi-final against Six Nations rivals Ireland.
Head coach Rob Hunter’s side had the first chance to get on the scoreboard but first Tom Heathcote and then Bell missed difficult kicks.
England were forced into making a 30th-minute change when fly half Heathcote went off with a knock and was replaced by Ben Ransom, with Bell moving to No 10.
Bell got the first points of the game, kicking three points from just over halfway to make it 3-0 at the break.
After a low-scoring first 40, the second half brought 17 points in just eight minutes. Bell’s second successful kick was sandwiched between two well-worked tries for the Baby Boks.
First William Small-Smith ran clear to score before Shaun Adendorff made it 14-6 with 30 minutes left to play.
A couple of quickfire Bell penalties again brought England to within a point, but South Africa hit back with two tries to claim the crucial bonus point.
Another Bell penalty got England to within 13 points, and two converted tries would have been enough to send them through, but the breakthrough never came.
Walker was understandably upset with the result, saying: “We’re absolutely gutted to be honest.
“We thought we contained them well in the first half and perhaps edged it, but credit where it’s due - they really turned it on in the second 40.
“But there are still two games to play and, while we’re obviously fairly down at the minute, we’ll pick ourselves up and we’ll be ready to take on the Irish.”