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Coach Bafana Nhleko pleased with Junior Springbok win over Ireland

Junior Springbok coach Bafana Nhleko says he's pleased with the performance his side produced in testing conditions in their second pool game against Ireland. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Junior Springbok coach Bafana Nhleko says he's pleased with the performance his side produced in testing conditions in their second pool game against Ireland. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Jun 30, 2022

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Cape Town - Junior Springbok coach Bafana Nhleko says he's pleased with the performance his side produced in testing conditions in their second pool game against Ireland at the Under-20 Six Nations Summer Series in Italy on Wednesday night.

The South Africans beat Ireland by 33-24 in Verona in hot and humid conditions, scoring five tries to Ireland's three, with the final Irish try coming after the hooter had sounded.

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Cameron Hanekom, Reinhardt Ludwig, Tiaan Lange, Corne Rahl and Lukhanyo Vokozela all visited Ireland's in-goal, while Sacha Mngomezulu added four conversions.

The SA Under-20s now lead Pool A with a full-house of 10 points after England overcame France earlier in the day.

Nhleko made six changes to their starting pack as they expected a physical onslaught from the Irish, while there were also wholesale changes on the bench.

Nhleko explained that he was pleased with the result considering the amendments made.

“We knew that Ireland would be hurting (after losing to France) and the way they came back in the second half put us under pressure,” said Nhleko, who added his side did well to close the game out.

“It’s part of the learnings for our group and the conditions were not easy because of the heat and humidity, which made for a slippery ball.”

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The SA mentor went on to highlight what he was pleased with, especially given how their opposition improved as the game progressed.

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“They were unbeaten in the Under-20 Six Nations and showed their pedigree in the second half,” said Nhleko.

“We wanted to stop them from getting quick ball at the breakdown and from gaining momentum, and I thought we were successful in that.

"But there were times when we left them off the hook and put ourselves under pressure.”

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The Junior Boks face France next week Tuesday in their third outing, with the match set to kick off at 5pm.

@WynonaLouw

IOL Sport

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