Cape Town - Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Saturday attributed his team’s 19-13 defeat against Argentina in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship at the wet AJ Bell Stadium in Manchester, England, to errors and poor discipline.
The Junior Boks trailed 13-6 at the break, and despite trying hard to force their way back into the match, mistakes at crucial times and ill-discipline resulted in the team suffering a disappointing 19-13 defeat.
“It was a disappointing performance from the team,” said Theron. “We created opportunities, but we were unable to capitalise on them due to the errors we made throughout the clash, and our discipline didn’t help either.
“At this level you cannot receive two yellow cards and concede several kickable penalties and expect to win the match. We have a lot to work on before our next game against France.”
The first half proved to be a war of attrition as both teams tried to get onto the front foot by running directly on attack and supporting this with a solid defensive effort in which they put their bodies on the line.
Such was the tough nature of the half, the only points scored up until the 39th minute were from penalty goals, with Junior Springbok flyhalf Curwin Bosch and his Argentinean counterpart Domingo Miotti each slotting over two kicks.
The South Africans created a few opportunities on attack during the half, but a series of penalties conceded and mistakes at crucial times did not assist their cause.
The Junior Boks were also handed a big blow in the 34th minute when scrumhalf James Hall received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.
Argentina took full advantage of this with right wing Tomas Malanos scoring the first try of the match in the dying seconds of the half as he found a gap in the middle of the field and dashed to the tryline.
Miotti’s conversion was successful, which pushed Argentina 13-6 ahead at the break.
Argentina continued to apply pressure on the Junior Boks in the second half and added two penalties to stretch their lead to 19-6.
A try by prop Franco van den Berg in the 64th minute from an effective rolling maul, which Bosch converted, however, reduced the deficit to 19-13.
But the Junior Springboks were again reduced to 14 men soon after as flanker Ernst van Rhyn received a yellow card, which piled more pressure on the side as the clock continued to wind down.
The team tried hard to fight back in the last 10 minutes and had opportunities to score, but mistakes once again denied them from adding to their score.
These costly errors forced them to settle for a 19-13 defeat.
Junior Springboks 13 (6) – Try: Franco van den Berg. Conversion: Curwin Bosch. Penalties: Curwin Bosch (2).
Argentina 19 (13) – Try: Tomas Malanos. Conversion: Domingo Miotti. Penalties: Domingo Miotti (3), Patricio Baronio.