Cape Town - The South African Under-20s'
successful training camp in Stellenbosch concluded with a tough friendly match
against Maties on Friday.
Although Maties won the game
by 31-21, SA U20 coach Dawie Theron still proclaimed the camp a success.
Theron and his assistants,
Nazeem Adams and Brendan Venter, had two weeks to work with a squad of 31
players, during which time they managed to put in a lot of playing structure
with an eye on the Junior World Championship in June.
"The camp was very
valuable in terms of our preparation for the Junior World Champs. We've really
progressed and I have to applaud the players for the hard work they put in in
mostly very hot conditions," said Theron.
"The players now fully
understand how we want to play and can further fine-tune our plans when we host
Argentina in April.
"Hopefully most members
of the squad will get game time in the Vodacom Cup and Varsity Cup, which will
improve their match fitness and confidence even more."
Speaking about the friendly
against Maties, Theron said it was very good match preparation for his team
against one of the best club sides in the country.
The match was split up in
three chukkas of 30 minutes each. Maties took an early 14-0 lead and although
the SA U20s fought back well, they could never catch up on the score board.
"Our two training games
were never about the result though. I thought our set piece play was good
against Maties, and we're making great progress in implementing our defensive
structures, said Theron.
"Maties came at us hard
and I was very happy with the character showed by my players against a team
that consisted of players that had played at Absa Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup
Shaun Adendorff, Pat Howard
and JJ de Klerk scored tries for the SA U20s, while Tony Jantjies converted all