GE­OR­GIA ON U-20’S MIND

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - JAC­QUES VAN DER WESTHUYZEN

WITH such skil­ful and ex­cit­ing play­ers like Cur­win Bosch, St­ed­man Gans, Wan­dis­ile Sime­lane, Yaw Penxe, Manie Lib­bock, Damian Willemse and Gianni Lom­bard to pick from, it’s no sur­prise the Ju­nior Boks coach­ing staff will be hop­ing they see more front foot ball when they face Ge­or­gia in their sec­ond match at the World Rugby Un­der-20 Cham­pi­onship on Sunday. The star-stud­ded SA back­line strug­gled in the wind and rain – and against a fired up French side – in their open­ing en­counter in Ti­bil­isi, Ge­or­gia, on Wed­nes­day. The 23-all draw was a lucky es­cape by the South Africans, who were on the back foot for much of the en­counter. Not only were coach Chean Roux’s men dom­i­nated up front, but the backs hardly saw ball, Backs coach Mzwandile Stick said get­ting the likes of Bosch and Co into the ac­tion would be key in the build-up to their sec­ond group match.

“One of the things we need to work on go­ing for­ward is to try to get the ball to the wider chan­nels,” said Stick.

“We tried to do it a few times against France, but we lost the ball. So, we will cer­tainly look to tighten the screws in the next few days.”

Team man­age­ment was also work­ing around the clock to en­sure the play­ers are in per­fect shape for the Ge­or­gia match. “We made sure that we did all the hard work back home be­cause we knew that there would be a quick turn­around be­tween matches,” said Stick. “But that said, good re­cov­ery will be es­sen­tial. Ev­ery game we play now will be like a fi­nal. Ge­or­gia played well against Ar­gentina (in their opener), and the home crowd here is very pas­sion­ate, so we have to step up our per­for­mance against them.”

Loose for­ward Nama Xaba was limp­ing dur­ing the game on Wed­nes­day and scrumhalf Re­wan Kruger suf­fered a ham­string in­jury, while a few other play­ers are also nurs­ing bumps and bruises, ac­cord­ing to Stick. “

The match kicks off at 4pm. –

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