Auckland, New Zealand - England and South Africa will meet in the final of rugby's under-20 World Cup after winning contrasting semi-finals on Sunday.

Defending champion England scored five tries to trounce Ireland 42-15 while 2012 champions South Africa needed a 78th-minute try to edge four-time champions New Zealand 32-25.

Hooker Corniel Els scored the decisive try on Sunday for South Africa, who also beat New Zealand 33-24 in pool play. Their clash provided a contrast in styles between the running game of the New Zealanders and the more measured, kicking game of South Africa who also depended on the work of their giant forward pack.

New Zealand matched South Africa in scrums and played more attractive rugby but was beaten by a Junior Springboks side that ground away relentlessly for 80 minutes. - Sapa-AP