Baby Boks off to winning start

2011-06-13 00:00

THE SA U20s kicked off their 2011 IRB Junior World Championship to a winning start following their 33-0 weekend victory over Scotland in Padova, Italy.

The Baby Boks held their opponents scoreless and achieved maximum points after scoring four tries. Centre Francois Venter and captain Arno Botha each scored a brace of tries. Flyhalf Johan Goosen kicked three penalties and two conversions.

Said coach Dawie Theron, “We’re happy to achieve our first win at the IRB Junior World Championship, but there’s still a lot of hard work that lies ahead if we intend to achieve our goal, which is to perfect the way we want to play during the next four matches.

“The result is a good one, but the score difference is not something that we are going to be focusing on that much. We’ve only got three days to prepare for our next match, which is against Ireland. For us as a team it’s about building momentum and ensuring that we are fresh for that challenge. We’ll enjoy the victory, but are very much wary of the threat a passionate team like Ireland can be.”

The SA U20s overwhelmed Scotland in the scrums, were solid in the lineouts and produced a clinical defensive effort that strangled the Scots, who attempted to run the ball throughout the game. The Baby Boks, though, were guilty of conceding numerous handling errors during critical periods of the game.

Man of the match Siya Kolisi was one the standout players for the South Africans, as was lock Eben Etzebeth. Both forwards were instrumental up front and earned numerous turnovers. Goosen dictated matters well in the backline, while the physical presence of Venter in the midfield stifled the attacking potency of Scotland.

Fullback Ulrich Beyers controlled the game at the back, and Springbok Sevens back Tshotsho Mbovane troubled the Scotland defensive line with sniping runs.

“I think we could have scored a few more tries during the match, and … it was our own handling errors and mistakes which saw us stagnate during periods of the game,” said Botha.

SCORERS: South Africa – Tries: Francois Venter (2), Arno Botha (2); Conversion: Johan Goosen (2); Penalties: Goosen (3)

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