Cape Town - Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux praised his team’s character to rack up a 50-8 victory against the Namibia XV on Saturday in wet conditions at Tygerberg Rugby Club in Cape Town in their second U20 International Series match.
The Junior Springboks scored twice in a closely-fought first half for a 14-8 halftime lead after rain poured down during their warm-up, but they stepped up the tempo in the second half and capitalised on their try-scoring chances, which saw Sebastiaan Jobb, Celimpilo Gumede and James Mollentze score two tries each.
The SA Under-20s backed up their eight tries in the match with another strong defensive effort, limiting the Namibia XV to an intercept try and penalty goal.
“We are happy with the result, as we wanted to build an innings, although the wet field and soft underfoot conditions made it difficult,” said Roux.
“We managed to score a few tries in the second half, which was pleasing.”
Roux was delighted with their defensive effort once again, while he was satisfied with the improvement in the Junior Boks’ scrummaging.
“Defensively we did very well again, as the only try we conceded was from an intercept,” said the coach.
“I also thought our scrums improved, although there were one or two scrums in which we could have performed better.”
While Roux was pleased with two wins out of two in the series so far, he said the match against the Argentina U20s in Stellenbosch on Tuesday would be the true test for his charges.
“I guess the two victories does give us confidence, but we need to be ready for Argentina in the next match,” Roux said.
“They are an excellent side and they will want to show that they can be a force to reckoned with.”
The Junior Springboks and Namibia battled to find their rhythm early in the first half as the wet ball resulted in a number of handling errors, but they settled well in the second quarter and the points followed.
The Namibia XV struck first with a penalty goal by Cliven Loubser in the 24th minute, but this was cancelled out by the Junior Springboks shortly after as flanker Dylan Richardson touched down from a pick-and-go. The successful conversion by flyhalf David Coetzer pushed the hosts 7-3 ahead.
The visitors hit back with an intercept try by Peter John Walters late in the half to go up 8-7, but the Junior Springboks ensured they reclaimed the lead before halftime thanks to Mollentze, who received a well-timed pass after a break out wide to touch down.
The Junior Boks built on this momentum in the opening exchanges of the second half with Sanele Nohamba and Mollentze navigating their way through the defence within three minutes of one another to stretch the team’s lead to 26-8.
Roux’s charges continued to take advantage of their try-scoring chances as the half progressed with Jobb and Gumede each scoring two tries as they put their raw pace to good use to seal a rewarding 50-8 victory.
The team will wrap up their Under20 International Series campaign against the Argentina U20’s at Paul Roos Gymnasium on Wednesday, 17 April, while the Georgia U20’s take on the Namibia XV.