“We were beaten by the better side,” said SA coach Chean Roux. “I don’t think we pitched up mentally for this game and we made some silly mistakes. You need a little bit of luck as well.
“So there are no excuses, we were simply beaten by the better side today.”
With the bronze play-off left in the competition, Roux said: “We’ve been there in the past, but that is not what we came for.
“We have a couple of injuries, so we will see who is fit to play the next game and we will take it from there.”
France opened up the scoring with two penalty goals from Carbonel in the first seven minutes, and they added the first try of the match shortly before the second quarter as Jordan Joseph touched down from a rolling maul.
Carbonel added his third penalty goal with 10 minutes left in the half to stretch their lead to 14-0.
The Junior Springboks fought back with intent and their patience on attack paid off on the stroke of halftime as hooker Fezokuhle Mbatha forced his way over the tryline from a rolling maul, with scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse landing the conversion to reduce their deficit to 14-7.
The Junior Springboks showed their determination to run hard at France from the outset of the second half, but mistakes at crucial times denied them from adding to their score on a few occasions in the third quarter.
France, in turn, opted for their fourth penalty goal in the third quarter and added another several minutes later to extend their lead to 20-7 with minutes to play.
Neither team was able to add to the score despite their committed efforts to breach the defence.
The Junior Boks will face Argentina in the bronze-medal match in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday after going down 20-7 to France in the semi-final @Springboks