Baby Boks v NZ: Part 2

2014-06-10 12:17
Handré Pollard (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Baby Boks defeated a spirited Samoa 21-8 at a rain swept ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe on Tuesday to book a semi-final slot against hosts New Zealand at the IRB Junior World Championship.  

CLICK HERE to all JWC fixtures and results

The South Africans will meet their traditional rivals for the second time in three matches at the JWC when the semi-finals will be played at the QBE Stadium in Albany on Sunday.

The New Zealanders outplayed Scotland 54-7 to take the fourth and last semi-final spot after finishing as the best placed second team.

The Baby Boks, who beat New Zealand 33-24 last Friday, finished top of Pool C.

England scraped through 17-16 against Argentina while Wales defeated France 13-3, a result which eliminated both teams from a semi-final spot, and ironically opened the door for the Baby Blacks to snap up the last semi-final place.

South Africa had plenty of possession and created several chances but handling errors and also ferocious defence by Samoa prevented them from achieving a more convincing win.

Dawie Theron, the Junior Springbok coach, said afterwards it was not their most convincing performance: “We must give Samoa credit for making it a huge contest. They battled all the way and made it difficult for us to build momentum.

“We spoilt three clear-cut chances to score, but we would have learnt a lot from this win in very difficult conditions. If you look at the close score between England and Argentina then you can see that the weather definitely played a huge role in the performances of the teams today.”

On the prospect of playing NZ twice in two weeks, team captain Handré Pollard said: “If you want to win the tournament then you must play and be able to win against any team. Our first match against them is history and we will now have to prepare very thoroughly for the semi-finals. We weren’t at our best tonight and the boys know that and we will have to lift our performance for the  semis,” said Pollard.

The Baby Boks had to come from behind to defeat Samoa, who led 8-7 at half-time thanks to a try by centre Nathaniel Apa and a penalty by flyhalf William Talataina Mu.

No 8 Aidon Davis scored for the Baby Boks after several missed opportunities.

South Africa were again strong in the set pieces and particularly in the scrums, where they pushed the physical Samoans often several metres towards their tryline. Centre André Esterhuizen en wing Sergeal Petersen each scored a try in the second half to secure a hard craft win for the 2012 JWC winners.

Interestingly, this is was the first time the Baby Boks and Samoa have met since the inaugural JWC tournament in 2008 when South Africa won a bruising encounter 16-11.

Other results:

Ireland beat Fiji 38-0 to qualify for the semi-finals. Australia defeated Italy 29-3, Wales edged France 13-3 while England beat Argentina 17-16.

Semi-final draw for Sunday, June 15:

England vs Ireland (07:05 SA time)
Junior Boks vs NZ Under-20 (09:35 SA time)



Tries: Aidon Davis, Andre Esterhuizen, Sergeal Petersen
Conversions: Handré Pollard (3)


Try: Nathaniel Apa   
Penalty: William Talataina Mu

South Africa Under-20 team:

15. Jesse Kriel (Blue Bulls), 14. Sergeal Petersen (EP Kings), 13. Dan Kriel (Blue Bulls), 12. Andre Esterhuizen (Sharks), 11. Duhan van der Merwe (SA Sevens contracted), 10. Handré Pollard (Blue Bulls, captain), 9. JP Smith (Blue Bulls), 8. Aidon Davis (EP Kings), 7. Jacques Vermeulen (Western Province), 6. Thabo Mabuza (Golden Lions), 5. Nico Janse van Rensburg (Blue Bulls), 4. JD Schickerling (Western Province), 3. Wilco Louw (Blue Bulls), 2. Corniel Els (Blue Bulls), 1. Pierre Schoeman (Blue Bulls)

Substitutes: 16. Joseph Dweba (Free State Cheetahs), 17. Mox Mxoli (Blue Bulls), 18. Dayan van der Westhuizen (Blue Bulls), 19. Victor Sekekete (Golden Lions), 20. Cyle Brink (Golden Lions), 21. Zee Mkhabela (Free State Cheetahs), 22. Jean-Luc du Plessis (Sharks), 23. Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls)


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