The Junior Springboks scored six tries in each half to score a convincing 78-31 victory over Argentina Under-20 on Friday in Saldanha Bay on the West Coast. The encounter was the first of three matches as the two teams fine-tune their preparations for the Junior World Championship 2014, to be held during June in New Zealand. South Africa Under-20 led 38-14 at halftime.
Despite choosing to play against a stiff breeze in the first half, the Junior Springboks quickly built up an impressive 31-0 lead inside 19 minutes. However, the visitors gradually found their rhythm and managed to score four tries, two apiece either side of halftime to bring the score to 45-26 at one stage. South Africa Under-20 try scorers were Daniel Du Plessis (2), Wilco Louw (2), Corniel Els (2), Dan Du Preez (2), Duhan Van Der Merwe (2), Jaco Van Der Walt and Sergeal Petersen. Van Der Walt kicked nine conversions.
For Argentina Pedro Ortega, Federico Gimenez, Felipe Arregui (2), Emiliano Borelli scored tries while Borelli also kicked three conversions. Afterwards, Junior Boks coach Dawie Theron attributed the good start to the time his squad has spent together at their training camp. “We tried a new approach this year, to keep the players a bit longer during our training camp, and although it is early days you could clearly see the result,” said Theron.
The SA Under-20 coach mentioned he was satisfied that his team managed to keep their momentum and ability to stick to their game plan. However, he warned Argentina will be a lot better prepared for the second encounter on Tuesday in Stellenbosch, “They are a good side with a lot of potential and I expect them to come very hard at us in Stellenbosch.” Theron was not too pleased with the tries his team conceded, and attributed it to some lapses of concentration either side of half-time.
Theron confirmed he will have several players available for Tuesday who did duty in this weekend’s Vodacom Cup quarterfinals, “Overall, the result was very satisfying, but it’s very early days and we will work hard during our two training sessions on Sunday,” added Theron. The next match is Tuesday at 15:00 at Paul Roos in Stellenbosch and the final encounter takes place next Saturday at City Park in Crawford, Cape Town.