Baby Boks draw with Argentina
Cape Town - The South Africa Under-20 Invitational XV fought off a brave onslaught from Argentina to draw their match 23-23 at the Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch late on Tuesday afternoon.
This clash was the second of a three match series between the home team and the visiting Pumitas. The matches form part of the SA U20 training camp in Cape Town in preparation for the IRB Junior World Championship 2012, to be staged during June in the Mother City.
The youthful South African selection, comprising mostly of under-19 players, was in front for most of the match and went into the break leading 15-10. South Africa won the opening match 51-19 on Saturday at the same venue.
It was evident from the start that the home team wanted to speed up the game and to stretch the heavier Pumitas pack. They used this tactic effectively, however, the greater experience of the visitors allowed them in the end to salvage a creditable draw, but they were made to fight all the way.
The home team led 23-13 at one stage, due to some clever footwork from their backs and also indiscipline from the visitors, who had Gaspar Oberti yellow-carded for a repeated offence.
The Pumitas were still trailing with seven minutes to go and they were rewarded with two tries during this period when they opened up their play and decided to attack from just about anywhere on the field. Santiago Garcia Botta first dotted down and then German Klubus scored to tie the score just before the final whistle.
SA U20 coach, Dawie Theron, said afterwards he was happy with the result: “We had twelve new players who only joined the squad this week, so a draw was a good result against a more experienced team. We gave the ball away too easily at times and I would have liked us to keep our shape a bit better, but a draw is good because they had to work really hard to keep us from winning the match.”
Theron added this was a very valuable exercise because it gave the younger players in the training squad a rare taste of international action.
Pumitas coach, Bernardo Urdaneta, was also a satisfied man: “We improved from last week, especially from a disciplinary point of view. We showed that we can play with the ball in hand but now we must work on our kicking game. We will make many changes for the last game and the aim is to pick our best selection for Saturday when we play at the Danie Craven Stadium.”
SA under-20's - Tries: Cobus Nel, Shaun Adendorf, Stephan Coetzee; Conversions: Dillon Leyds; Penalties: Dillion Leyds (2)
Argentina under-20 - Tries: Felipe Ezcurra, Sebastiano Garcia Botta, German Klubus; Conversions: Sebastian Poet; Penalties: Sebastian Poet, Joaquin Paz.