Good start? Check.
The Junior Boks got off to a stunning start in their World Rugby Under-20 Championship opener against Scotland, bagging a bonus-point 43-19 win in Rosario on Tuesday.
The South Africans scored six tries to the Scots’ three after leading 17-12 at the break.
While the fact that the South Africans had three chances at posts in the opening 10 minutes says a lot about Scotland’s early error rate, the Junior Boks weren’t flawless in that first quarter either.
A couple of early lineout errors exposed a weakness, and Scotland scored the first try when loosehead prop Murphy Walker peeled around and scored in 17th minute.
The Junior Boks responded almost immediately after Hendrikse gave a stunning inside ball after a ruck to Francke Horn, who ran a good line to score (10-5; Hendrikse missed first two penalty kicks).
After Scotland had more possession in the first quarter, the Junior Boks saw more of the ball in the second, but relentless defence by Scotland in their red zone kept the South Africans – who kept it tight as they tried to plough through – out.
That changed before halftime after a top piece of backline interplay, which resulted in flyhalf James Mollentze popping the ball to Hendrikse, who flew up in support on his inside to finish (17-5).
There had been a number of mistakes by both sides early in the game. And although it got better as the game progressed, the Junior Boks paid for one that slipped in later in the first half when lock Emile van Heerden was sent to the bin for collapsing the maul, which gifted Scotland a penalty try (17-12).
The Junior Boks stretched their lead seconds before they were to return to 15 digits.
The inside ball was the flavour of the day for Chean Roux’s team as they got their third try after Horn was on the receiving end of one after a ruck, before he gave an inside pass to Hendrikse running off his shoulder to finish (22-12).
Scotland got a try after that (22-19), but it would be their last as the Junior Boks broke away in the 65th minute.
Kudzwai Dube has the last say for the Junior Springboks against Scotland as scores in the last minute, with Nohamba's conversion sealing a 43-19 win against Scotland @Springboks— Junior Springboks (@JuniorBoks) June 4, 2019
Lock JJ van der Mescht got rewarded for a quality performance when he scored their fourth try (29-19), before Mollentze rolled out another fine touch when he turned on the gas and rounded Scotland’s defence before flicking a beaut of an offload to his inside.
Replacement back Sanele Nohamba, who had just come on, ran up in support and put in a step to remember to finish off. He added the extras to give the Junior Boks a commanding lead (36-19).
Replacement prop Kudzwai Dube added the Junior Boks’ sixth try at the death (43-19).
The Junior Boks next face Georgia on Saturday (3.30pm).
South Africa 43 – Tries: Francke Horn, Jaden Hendrikse (2), JJ van der Mescht, Sanele Nohamba, Kudzwai Dube Conversions: Hendrikse (3), Nohamba (2) Penalties: Hendrikse.
Scotland 19 – Tries: Murphy Walker, Penalty Try, Cameron Anderson Conversion: Ross Thompson@WynonaLouw