Junior Springboks overpower Wales to claim Six Nations Summer Series

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Junior Springboks. (@JuniorBoks - Twitter)
Junior Springboks. (@JuniorBoks - Twitter)

The Junior Springboks proved far too strong for Wales in Treviso, Italy on Tuesday as they were the deserved winners of the U20 Six Nations Summer Series, a competition in which they ended unbeaten.

A relentless display from Bafana Nhleko's charges saw them run out 47-27 winners after they led 26-3 at half-time.

After Wales started the better of the two sides, South Africa slowly worked their way into the contest and on their first visit to Wales' 22-metre area, scored through No 8 Louw Nel, who barged his way over in the corner.

Skipper and flyhalf Sacha Mngomezulu slotted a difficult conversion to give the Junior Boks a 7-0 lead after eight minutes. 

Wales were onto the scoreboard soon after as centre Joe Hawkins slotted a penalty to bring the score to 7-3. 

They were down to 14 men soon after as prop Nathan Evans was sent to the sin-bin after taking out South African hooker Lukhanyo Vokozela in the air.

Vokozela fell awkwardly and had to be replaced by Tiaan Lange who forced his way over the tryline from the resulting penalty for South Africa's second try.

Mngomezulu added the conversion as the Junior Boks led 14-3 after just 14 minutes. 

That lead was extended in the 23rd minute as centre Suleiman Hartzenberg scythed his way through a gap in the Welsh midfield to cruise over under the poles.

Mngomezulu made no mistake with the conversion as South Africa's lead was extended to 21-3. 

Lange scored his second and South Africa's fourth in the 28th minute as a relentless assault from the pack proved too much for Wales' defence. 

Mngomezulu couldn't add the extras, but the Junior Boks were dominating the contest at 26-3.

They were disrupted, however, when Mngomezulu was forced from the field with what looked to be an arm injury.

Neil le Roux replaced him as the teams went into half-time with South Africa in total control.  

Wales needed to score first in the second half if they had any chance of working their way back into the match, and they did so with an unconverted try by outside centre Mason Grady who finished off a long-range attack that started in their own half.

That cut the score to 26-8 in the 48th minute. 

The Junior Boks hit back almost immediately as Lange scored his hat-trick, using his power to force his way over the line for a converted try from close in to push the score out to 33-8. 

South Africa added further tries through Hartzenberg and Ethan James, while Wales scored tries through Joe Westwood, Efan Daniels and Dafydd Jenkins, making the score a little more respectable. 

Junior Springbok captain Mngomezulu said afterwards playing in the U20 Summer Series was a dream come true for him and the team.

"The boys worked extremely hard, and they deserve this," said Mngomezulu.

"Credit must also go to the coaches who made us work hard and put in such a good effort for us to be ready.

"It's an amazing feeling standing here unbeaten after four games. Not too long ago, we didn't even play rugby, so credit to World Rugby and the Six Nations for staging this excellent tournament. They allowed the boys to create life-long memories," added the Junior Bok skipper.


South Africa 47 (26)

Tries: Louw Nel, Tiaan Lange (3), Suleiman Hartzenberg (2), Eathan James

Conversions: Sacha Mngomezulu (3), Donovan Don (3

Wales 27 (3)

Tries: Mason Grady, Joe Westwood, Ethan Fackrell, Cameron Jones 

Conversions: Joe Hawkins (2)

Penalty: Joe Hawkins

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