Baby Boks triumph over England and get ready to take on France

2013-06-10 00:00

SOUTH Africa U20 scored a hard-fought 31-24 victory over a tenacious England in La Roche-sur-Yon in France last night to register their second consecutive victory at the IRB Junior World Championship (JWC).

The Junior Springboks, who are the defending champions, consolidated their place on top of the standings in Pool A (9 points) and now have one more group match to negotiate before the play-offs. They play tournament hosts France at the same venue on Thursday.

South Africa raced into a 21-0 lead after an impressive start. Flying wing Seabelo Senatla, scorer of four tries against the USA last week, was denied another hat-trick of tries after his third effort was controversially disallowed by the assistant referee for an earlier infringement.

A fourth try and the accompanying bonus point would have confirmed South Africa’s place in the semi-finals with a match to spare.

The Baby Boks led 21-0 after 30 minutes of play in the first half as Senatla scored two tries with flyhalf Robert du Preez slotting a conversion and two penalties.

The English hit back when Sam Hill (centre) crossed the line (half-time 21-7). A few minutes after the restart England scored again when lock Elliot Stooke dotted down in the corner (21-14). But the SA U20 struck back when imposing flanker Jacques du Plessis crashed over in the corner for the team’s third try, while pivot Du Preez added a conversion and a penalty to keep England at bay.

But England fought back when Stooke and Henry Purdy (reserve prop) crashed over for tries in the corner and Slade converted both and added a penalty.

SA coach Dawie Theron said afterwards he was happy with the win, but disappointed that his team could not secure a valuable bonus point.

“This was a very good win against an English team that have won the U20 Six Nations and have played much longer together as a team.

“I am disappointed with our discipline in the second half, but there were also some decisions made which were out of our control and influenced the play. We will now prepare for our next match against France, who will no doubt be difficult customers in front of their home fans,” said Theron.


South Africa U20 (21) 31: Tries: Seabelo Senatla (2), Jacques du Plessis. Conversions: Robert du Preez (2). Penalties: Du Preez (4)

England U20 (7) 24: Tries: Sam Hill, Elliott Stooke, Hendry Purdy. Conversions: Henry Slade (3), Penalty: Slade.

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