STELLENBOSCH – Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux says there's still a lot of work to do following his team's 55-14 victory against Georgia in Stellenbosch on Friday.
The Junior Boks thrashed the team they will meet in their first match of the 2018 World Rugby Under-20 Championships (on May 30) at the Märkotter Fields at Paul Roos Gymnasium, giving them a solid boost as they prepare for their remaining warm-ups before the international tournament kicks off in France.
The South Africans ran in three tries in the first quarter and added two more before the break, while the visitors could only manage to enter the Junior Boks' in-goal area once in the first 40 (36-7 half time).
Roux's team added three more tries in the second half, and while the Junior Bok mentor is pleased with his team's efforts, he wants to see more boxes checked before the end of next month.
“The scoreboard was pleasing, but there is still a lot of work to do,” said Roux.
“In saying that, it was our first outing as a team playing a full game, and I am pleased that there were no serious injuries.
“I think we did well in the lineouts and we started with the tempo we wanted, but we will continue to work hard in the next couple of days.”
Flanker Muller Uys was the first to cross the whitewash, and Sihle Njezula made it two for the hosts shortly afterwards after capitalising on a kick pass.
Wandisile Simelane also added his name to the scoresheet to take the score to 24-0, and Georgia hit back with a try by No 8 Arsena Machaladze to get some points before half time.
Captain and lock and captain Salmaan Moerat and centre Rikus Pretorius scored back-to-back tries in the last eight minutes of the first half, and the South Africans went into the break with a commanding 36-7 lead.
Georgia put up a fight early in the second half, and they were rewarded when fullback Beka Mamukashvili scored a converted try to take their score into double figures (34-14).
But as the clicked ticked on, the Junior Boks took full control of the game, and tries by JC Pretorius, Njezula and Rikus Pretorius took the hosts' try tally to eight, securing a 55-14 victory.
The Junior Springboks will meet World Rugby U20 Championship pool opponents, Georgia, again on Friday, 20 April, at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.
They will continue their preparations in the UK where they will face Scotland, Wales and England.
The World Rugby U20 Championship will run from 30 May to 17 June, with SA taking on Georgia, Ireland and France in the pool stages.
Junior Springboks 55: Tries: Muller Uys, Sihle Njezula (2), Wandisile Simelane, Salmaan Moerat, Rikus Pretorius (2), JC Pretorius. Conversions: Lubabalo Dobela (4), Abner van Reenen (2). Penalty Goals: Lubabalo Dobela.
Georgia 14: Tries: Arsena Machaladze, Beka Mamukashvili. Conversions: Tedo Abzhandadze (2).