Junior Boks claim third in Georgia
THE JUNIOR SPRINGBOKS secured a bronze-medal finish after outperforming France in the thirdplace playoff game of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Georgia yesterday.
After losing in the semi-finals to England, the Baby Boks produced a 37-15 scoreboard replica of the Springboks’ win over France in Durban on Saturday as they scored five tries to France’s two at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium in Tbilisi.
Lock Ruben van Heerden, replacement back David Brits, No 8 Juarno Augustus and hooker Johan Grobbelaar all crossed the whitewash for a try (Grobbelaar scored a brace), while flyhalf Manie Libbok added three conversions and two penalties to the scoreboard. France got onto the scoreboard through tries by hooker Peato Mauvaka and flyhalf Baptiste Couilloud, who also added a conversion and a penalty.
And although they would have wanted to go for gold, it was an improved result from the 2016 tournament, where the Junior Boks ended in fourth place in Manchester.
The Junior Boks can also take heart from the attacking play they’ve produced throughout the championship, especially in their 11-try 72-14 smashing of Argentina in the pool stages, while individuals like Damian Willemse, Libbok, Curwin Bosch, Augustus and Jeanluc Cilliers produced stand-out performances during their five-match campaign.
Augustus, who impressed with his physicality and try-scoring ability (he scored seven tries in the competition), was rewarded for his top form throughout the tournament with a World Rugby Under-20 Championship Player of the Tournament nomination, with the loose forward going up against England captain and No 8 Zach Mercer and his teammate wing Gabriel Ibitoye, and New Zealand flyhalf Tiaan Falcon and fullback Will Jordan for the prestigious award.