CAPE TOWN – Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux praised his team’s commitment as they produced another solid performance on their UK tour to defeat Wales U20 41-5 at Cardiff Arms Park on Tuesday.
The victory marked their second 40 point score on tour after they defeated Scotland 41-3 in Edinburgh on Friday.
The SA U20s held a 10-0 lead at the break against Wales, and built on this with intent in the second-half to finish the match with six tries to only one by the hosts. The Junior Boks laid a solid foundation up-front and backed this up with hard running on attack, which saw them pose a threat until the end.
“I am pleased with the performance and I thought our defence, lineouts and scrums went well,” said Roux.
“It was a physical match and we stood our ground and dominated in the contact. I am especially pleased with our defence.
“It is a pity we conceded one try, but they were on our tryline at times and we had to defend several phases, so I thought that was excellent. It showed the players’ commitment.”
He added: “I think we still have some work to do on our attack. But that is why are playing these matches. We would like to learn from them.”
The SA U20s will face England in their final tour match on Friday at the Sixways Stadium in Worcester, and Roux admitted that the players will be tested with the short turnaround time.
“It is going to be tough with a two-and-a-half days to go before the match against England, but we are trying to make it as tough as possible for the players,” said Roux.
“We are expecting a difficult match, as they are fresh and will be ready for us, but that is exactly what we wanted before going to the World Rugby U20 Championship.”
Roux’s charges wasted no time making their presence felt at Cardiff Arms Park, as they opened up the scoring in the eighth minute compliments of No 8 Muller Uys, who rounded off some powerful forward play.
This was followed by a stretch of determined play by both sides, during which the SA U20s and Wales worked their way close to the tryline on a few occasions, although neither side was able to convert this into points.
With halftime approaching, replacement centre Wandisile Simelane received the ball in space in the corner after more solid forward play, and touched down to hand the visitors a 10-0 lead going into the break.
Wales struck back immediately after the break with a try by Corey Baldwin, but the Junior Springboks found their rhythm and remained composed, which allowed them to dominate proceedings. This paid off as replacement flyhalf David Coetzer scored the team’s third try thanks to good momentum up-field, which fullback Gianni Lombard converted.
Lombard added a long-range penalty goal, and then converted a try by hooker Daniel Jooste minutes later, which pushed the side into an encouraging 27-5 lead. With momentum on their side and the Junior Boks’ determined to play until the final whistle, winger Tyrone Green found space on the outside to score, and Coetzer followed this up with his second on the stroke of fulltime to secure a rewarding 41-5 victory.
Final score: Wales 5 (0) Junior Springboks 41 (10)
Scorers for Wales:
Try: Corey Baldwin.
Scorers for Junior Springboks:
Tries: Muller Uys, Wandisile Simelane, David Coetzer (2), Daniel Jooste, Tyrone Green.
Conversions: Gianni Lombard (4). Penalty goal: Gianni Lombard.