Sacha Mngomezulu stars as Junior Springboks thump France

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Sacha Mngomezulu. (Junior Springboks - Twitter)
Sacha Mngomezulu. (Junior Springboks - Twitter)

The Junior Springboks thumped France 42-27 in Verona on Tuesday evening to finish top in Pool A at the U20 Six Nations Summer Series.

The Baby Boks led 17-12 at half-time through two converted tries and a penalty goal, while the French replied with two tries and a conversion.

The match was played in scorching heat but that did not prevent the two sides from turning on the style in the second stanza. South Africa added three more tries to remain unbeaten in the competition.

Junior Bok skipper Sacha Mngomezulu was the star of the show. The Stormers pivot was flawless off the tee - kicking four conversions and three penalties for a personal haul of 17 points - while his distribution was equally impressive.

The workmanlike No 7 Ruan Venter bagged two tries, while inside centre Suleiman Hartzenberg, left wing Imad Khan and reserve hooker Lukhanyo Vokozela also crossed the whitewash.

The Junior Boks top Pool A win 15 points after three bonus-point wins.

Head coach Bafana Nhleko's charges now await the outcome of Wednesday's Pool B decider between hosts Italy and Wales to see who they will play in next week's playoff spot for the overall Summer Series winner.

Scorers:

Junior Springboks 42 (17)

Tries: Ruan Venter (2), Suleiman Hartzenberg, Imad Khan, Lukhanyo Vokozela

Conversions: Sacha Mngomezulu (4)

Penalties: Mngomezulu (3).

France U20 27 (12)

Tries: Louis Bielle-Biarrey (2), Connor SA, Jules Coulon.

Conversions: Leo Barre, Bielle-Biarrey

Penalty: Barre

The only negatives from a South African perspective was a yellow card for front-ranker Juann Else, while No 8 Cameron Hanekom had to leave the field early because of an injury, with Louw Nel taking over his duties at the back of the scrum.

The only negatives from a South African perspective was a yellow card for front-ranker Juann Else, while No 8 Cameron Hanekom had to leave the field early because of an injury, with Louw Nel taking over his duties at the back of the scrum.

The French played some enterprising rugby, but they struggled to keep the Baby Boks at bay, who used their set piece and kicking game to good effect.

Nhleko said he was chuffed with the manner in which his side closed the game out in the second half.

"I felt we made it hard for ourselves in the first half because we didn't take our opportunities and didn't manage the game on our terms - that took energy away from us," he said.

"Once we stuck to our processes I though the boys did well, and there were character and composure in the second half."

Nhleko also complimented his players' fitness.

"We need to grow in our game management. I would also like to thank our strength and conditioning and medical departments for their work because the conditions (the heat and humidity) are tough, but our players were able to come through very well.

"The bodies are sore after three weeks so we will give them two days off to recover and then we will regroup to make sure our detail is there and that we are up for next physical challenge."

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