CAPE TOWN - Solid defence, a solid set-piece and sustained pressure. Those aspects are key to overcoming England in the semi-final of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship on Tuesday (kick-off 7pm, SS1), according to Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux.
The Junior Boks will head into the playoff clash after suffering a 46-29 defeat to hosts France in their third and final pool match, while the English have secured bonus-point victories in all three of their group-stage games. And now Roux just wants his team to take it "one minute at a time" and apply pressure for 80 minutes - something they haven't been able to get right until now.
“The important thing is not to get ahead of ourselves, but rather to approach it one minute at a time,” said Roux. “Our defence has to be solid and so do our set pieces, and we need to keep the pressure on for the full 80 minutes. If we can do that, we should be there at the end."
Roux also said that he's expecting a massive onslaught from England, who finished the pool stages as the top team, and said: “England are a very physical and well-coached side. Their set pieces are very good and they have two brilliant wingers, so we need to counter that.”
The Junior Bok coach has made six changes to the side that faced France. Flyhalf David Coetzer and flanker Phendulani Buthelezi - who joined the team last week as injury replacements - as well as hooker Tiaan van der Merwe and prop Alulutho Tshakweni will get their first tournament starts.
Van der Merwe and Tshakweni will also start in a new-look front row with tighthead prop Sazi Sandi. The other change is at inside centre where Rikus Pretorius returns after recovering from the ankle injury he suffered in their opening match against Georgia, and he will partner up with Manuel Rass in midfield.
Junior Bok coach Chean Roux said: “There was an injury and another recovering from injury, while we also opted to bring on fresh legs. We think this is a good side, and we are looking forward to the game" @Springboks pic.twitter.com/DOqHtn21ls
One the bench, tournament debutants prop Leon Lyons and scrumhalf Jack Hart will provide cover on the bench. Roux added that while some of the changes were injury-enforced, he also felt the need to bring in some fresh legs for the fixture.
“There was an injury and another recovering from injury, while we also opted to bring on fresh legs,” said Roux. “We think this is a very good side, and we are looking forward to the game.”
Junior Springboks team: 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Wandisile Simelane, 10 David Coetzer, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Muller Uys, 7 PJ Steenkamp, 6 Phendulani Buthelezi, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Tiaan van der Merwe, 1 Alulutho Tshakweni. Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Leon Lyons,18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Dian Schoonees, 21 Jack Hart, 22 Lubabalo Dobela, 23 Sihle Njezula.