Ju­nior Boks run riot as they flat­ten Ar­gentina

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - WYNONA LOUW

IN THE BUILD-up to the Ju­nior Spring­boks’ fi­nal pool match against Ar­gentina, coach Chean Roux was wary of the op­po­si­tion’s “fast-paced game” and their scrum­mag­ing, but once the Ju­nior Boks got go­ing, he had no rea­son to worry. None what­so­ever.

Roux needed no re­mind­ing of the ar­eas that caused a few headaches against the hosts last week – the scrums, the un­forced er­rors and, at times, the line-outs.

But all those ar­eas that were such a big con­cern against Ge­or­gia were nowhere to be seen at the Avchala Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

In their last round-robin game of the World Rugby Un­der-20 Cham­pi­onships in Ge­or­gia, the Baby Boks pro­duced a top per­for­mance and scored 11 tries to the Ar­gen­tini­ans’ two to book a semi-fi­nal spot with a 72-14 vic­tory.

The South Africans were su­perb at scrum time, their line-outs were first-class, and in open play they were sim­ply un­stop­pable.

The re­turn of fly­half Cur­win Bosch cer­tainly boosted the team, and he showed just why he is such a force with pin­point line kicks and try-cre­at­ing cross-kicks and grub­bers, while he also con­trib­uted seven con­ver­sions and a penalty kick.

An­other ex­cit­ing prospect in cen­tre Damian Willemse also thrilled as he showed off a few hot off­loads and even hot­ter step­ping.

Left wing Gianni Lom­bard’s per­for­mance was an­other stand­out among plenty of great ones, and his per­fect chip kicks, his run­ning and his step­ping bagged him a brace of tries.

But it wasn’t just the three of them that shone.

It was an all-round per­for­mance by ev­ery­one on the field.

The com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the sup­port play, the set-piece dom­i­na­tion, the lethal coun­ter­at­tack­ing and the at­tack­ing po­tency – all of those fac­tors made it a tough time for the Ar­gen­tini­ans.

And when the whis­tle went for the sec­ond half kick-off, well, the Ju­nior Boks were even bet­ter and took com­plete con­trol of the game.

The Ju­nior Boks’ line-out was su­perb early on, and both their first tries re­sulted from the set-piece.

In op­po­si­tion 22, hooker Jo­han Grobbe­laar pro­duced a bril­liant, long line-out throw, and the Baby Boks’ for­wards de­liv­ered a pow­er­ful for­ward drive to get the No 2 over for the first try of the match, and af­ter a try by right wing Yaw Penxe was dis­al­lowed, the Ju­nior Boks cap­i­talised on a way-off­tar­get throw by Ar­gentina, and Grobbe­laar snatched the ball up at the back of the line-out to dive over an open try line.

The Baby Boks also showed great vari­a­tion at the line-out, and that was ev­i­dent when No 8 Juarno Au­gus­tus scored his fourth try of the tour­na­ment from the set-piece later in the game.

There was beau­ti­ful play by Roux’s team af­ter Grobbe­laar’s brace, and the Ju­nior Boks re­ally showed their en­ter­prise.

But they also had to work hard on de­fence to keep the Ar­gen­tini­ans out early, and tries to prop Ale­jan­dro Luna and wing To­mas Malanos were good re­wards for the pos­ses­sion and ter­ri­tory they en­joyed in the first 30 min­utes that be­longed to nei­ther team.

At half-time, the Ju­nior Boks were 31-14 ahead and they had five tries on the score­board to Ar­gentina’s two.

How­ever, the only job the Ar­gen­tini­ans had in the sec­ond half was to do dam­age con­trol as the South Africans ran in six more tries (they also had a cou­ple dis­al­lowed).

There was cer­tainly no con­fu­sion as to who ran the show in Tbil­isi.

In fact, the only mo­ment when there was a speck of un­cer­tainty was when Em­brose Papier, Bosch and Manie Lib­bok dot­ted the ball down for their eighth try to­gether. Yep, all three of them. It’s safe to say that the Ju­nior Boks have now fi­nally got­ten re­venge for los­ing out on a bronze medal in Manch­ester against Ar­gentina last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.