3 June 2014
The Junior Springboks made a strong start to their 2014 IRB Junior World Championship campaign at the QBE Stadium in North Harbour, New Zealand on Monday, thrashing Scotland 61-5 in a Pool C clash.
Dawie Theron’s charges started slowly, but after the break played some fine rugby to add 47 points to their half-time lead of 14-5.
The South Africans scored nine tries in total to Scotland’s one try. The longer the contest progressed, the better South Africa’s play became.
Scotland, though, took an early lead after a neat kick to the corner for wing Jamie Farndale, who is playing in his third Junior World Championship.
In response, instead of kicking a peanlty at posts from right out in front, the Junior Springboks used their forward power to score their first try through prop Pierre Schoeman. They then used that power again to open up space out wide for wing Sergeal Petersen to score on the right.
Captain Handre Pollard converted both tries to make it 14-5 at the break.
After the restart, it was all South Africa. With Pollard performing masterfully at flyhalf, the men in green and gold demonstrated excellent decision-making, time after time striking where the Scottish defence was at its weakest.
South Africa controlled the ball up front, where Scotland had made things difficult in the first half, and thus created good attacking ball for the backs to use.
Pollard started the second half try rush with an excellent chip and gather, which resulted in a try for right wing Lloyd Greeff. A neat wrap-around and pass in a tackle from Pollard then opened the way for outside centre Jesse Kriel to cross for another five-pointer.
Hooker Malcolm Marx crashed over under the uprights after a deft pass from prop Pierre Schoeman before fullback Warrick Gelant showed some blistering pace to take an outside gap on his way to another South African try.
Eightman Aidon Davis rounded off a superb move down the right before Kriel scored his second try of the game. Greeff also ended with a brace after scoring South Africa’s ninth and final try.
Pollard finished with 14 points after missing only one conversion and a penalty. Afterwards, he declared himself pleased with his side’s improvement after the break.
‘We were not clinical enough’
We were not clinical enough in that first half and also made too many errors,” he said.
“We came out better in the second half and once the forwards laid the platform for us, the backs could express themselves and managed to score some good tries.”
Coach Dawie Theron said the outing was a good learning experience for the Junior Springboks.
‘We had to fight our way back’
“Scotland made it very difficult for us right from the start, and we had to fight our way back,” he said. “The second half was very pleasing, and I think here our experienced players such as Handre and Sergeal (Petersen) came through very strongly. Warrick Gelant and Lloyd Greeff also had showed what they are capable of on attack.
“This was a good start,” he added, “but we will now work hard in training to prepare for our next match against New Zealand on Friday. ”
The New Zealanders beat Samoa 48-12 in Pool C’s other match on Monday.