Mem­o­rable try makes it a dream Bok de­but for Cronje

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - JAC­QUES VAND ER WESTHUYZEN

AS DEBUTS go it was a dream one for Spring­bok No 9 Ross Cronje, pic­tured.

Not only did the Boks win to kick off the 2017 sea­son on a high on Satur­day, but the 27-yearold also scored a try – and a mem­o­rable one at that.

With 20 min­utes to go and the Boks hav­ing just gone 23-14 up after be­ing awarded a de­bat­able penalty try, Cronje’s five-pointer on 61 min­utes vir­tu­ally put an end to France’s chal­lenge at Lof­tus Vers­feld. Even­tu­ally the home team ran out 37-14 vic­tors.

A train­ing ground move where cap­tain and No 8 Warren White­ley called a long li­ne­out ball to him­self and then pushed the ball back and down to a charg­ing Cronje, who ran in un­touched, worked a treat.

“We trained it dur­ing the week, but it didn’t work out so well so we’re very happy that it came off in the game,” said a de­lighted Cronje who, along with Ray­mond Rhule, An­dries Coet­zee and Court­nall Skosan, was on de­but.

White­ley was also pleased the move worked out so per­fectly. “It’s so spe­cial to see guys you’ve known for years, you’ve seen them grow, make their de­but, and be a part of such a spe­cial mo­ment,” he said. “To see the joy on ev­ery­one’s faces (when he scored) … but ev­ery try was cel­e­brated to­day. Ross per­formed amaz­ingly on de­but, but pretty much ev­ery­one played well, ev­ery­one did their part.”

Cronje said it was a day he’d re­mem­ber for a very long time. “It was ev­ery­thing and more. The boys rocked up, they stuck to the plan the coaches set out for us and the for­wards did an un­be­liev­able job which al­lowed the backs to play a bit of run­ning rugby.

“I was a bit ner­vous ahead of the game, but once we got warmed up and I felt the ball in my hands there was more ex­cite­ment than any­thing else.” –

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