Baby Boks seek to dominate

2014-06-14 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The Junior Springboks will seek to have the same dominance that they displayed in their group stages win over the “Baby Blacks” earlier in the tournament when they meet in the semi-finals of the Junior World Championship tomorrow.

The teams play at 9.35 am (SA time) at the QBE Stadium in Auckland after England and Ireland clash in the first semi-final.

South Africa won their group match against New Zealand 33-24, but the home team will be more motivated than ever to put a stop to their losing streak against the Baby Boks.

The Baby Blacks have lost their last three fixtures against SA U20 opposition and number four would be a bitter pill for the Kiwis to swallow, given that they are playing on home soil.

The Boks will not under­estimate their opponents and would do well not to draw any comparisons to the group stage match.

The Baby Blacks will be without one of their stalwarts in captain and flyhalf Simon Hickey, but they have enough depth to be competitive from the onset.

Meanwhile, Boks utility back Jesse Kriel may also miss out after receiving a nasty bump to the head.

Handré Pollard, the Boks’ captain and flyhalf, will again have a massive role to play in mobilising his backline.

The New Zealanders will be especially dangerous on the wings, specifically through speedster Tevita Li, who scored all three of his team’s tries against the Boks in the group stages.

Rain is predicted, and both the South Africans’ and Kiwis’ prospect of playing an attractive running game are likely to be hampered, but Bok coach Dawie Theron is not too worried about it. “Our training went well and the team even had a workout in pouring rain … The weather is something you cannot control,” he said.

The coach added that he would not be likely to deviate much from the game plan that has worked so far in the tournament.

“They are a physical side and you expect a more direct game because of that.”

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