Dawie Theron Happy With Junior Boks Showing

The Junior Springbok rugby squad return to South Africa on Monday morning following their bronze medal success at the 2015 World Rugby Unde-20 Championship in Italy.  The South Africans won four of their five matches at the three-week long tournament, with their only defeat coming in the semi-final last Wednesday evening in Calvisano against England.  New Zealand were crowned 2015 champions after their 21-16 victory over England on Saturday in Cremona.

The Junior Boks outplayed France Under-20 by 31-18 to finish the tournament in third place.  The Junior Boks will thus be the third ranked team for the 2016 edition of the annual tournament, which will take place in Manchester.  Commenting on their last outing against France yesterday, head coach Dawie Theron said his team did well to recover from a difficult start to the match:  ‘The difficult start to the match can perhaps be attributed to some early nerves as a result of the previous result against England.  We had a good warm-up session before kick-off but I could see there were some nerves out there especially in the early period.  France scored twice during that time (a penalty and unconverted try), but I think we showed what we are capable of in the following 20 minutes.  We scored four tries and they were well executed and text book copies of our plan.  After the break France came strongly at us, forced a penalty and then it looked like we went quiet and defensive for a while. We had chances to score in the second half but unfortunately we did not capitalised on them. There was also a swirling wind out there and that’s why we decided not to kick for poles in the first half.  However, we made some unforced errors which prevented us from adding to our score.  Overall, it was a good performance against the French, who are the reigning Under-20 Six Nations champions.  They showed with their second half performance why they were defeated England during the pool stages.’

Photo credit: Roger Sedres/  ImageSA