Salutes pour in for Baby Boks

2012-06-12 22:33

Cape Town - We may be in the midst of a Test series between the two countries at senior level, but the Baby Boks rightly commanded centre stage on Tuesday for a fabulous surge to victory over England in the IRB Junior World Championship.

The young South Africans needed to win with a bonus point in their final pool match at Cape Town Stadium to make the semi-final cut and frankly looked stone-dead as far as that prospect was concerned at the break - they trailed 3-0 after being knocked backwards in most respects and defeat even seemed a pretty strong likelihood.

But, clearly responding to coach Dawie Theron’s urgent cry for them to “put heart and soul on the line” in the second 40 minutes, a near-staggering turnaround saw them score the required four tries, win by the comfortable margin of 28-15 and qualify to meet Argentina in one of the semis (the other pits New Zealand against Wales) at Newlands on Sunday.

It will go down as one of the most famous Baby Bok triumphs in the relatively fledgling history of the competition, regardless of whether the hosts end up going all the way to the silverware or not.

Perhaps the match also marked a key springboard for rugby at the slightly troubled World Cup 2010 soccer stadium; the lower tiers of the large venue were well populated on a chilly but rainless night and fans clearly revelled in the occasion.

Immediately afterwards, Twitter tributes to the team - inspiringly led out at the eleventh hour by William Small-Smith after Wiaan Liebenberg’s withdrawal due to injury - flooded in from senior icons of the South African game.

“Well done Baby Boks, great game of rugga!” enthused World Cup 2007-winning captain John Smit (@JohnSmit123).

Another former Bok stalwart and now SuperSport pundit Ashwin Willemse (@Ashwinwillemse) said: “Great win by the Junior Bokkies! Semi-final here we come; our Cup hopes still alive.”

Tearaway loose forward of the 1980s Rob Louw (@roblouw6) enthused: “Great 2nd half ... standouts 13 (centre Small-Smith), (prop Steven) Kitshoff, (right wing Paul) Jordaan, (flank Shaun) Adendorff.”

Ex-Stormers and Bok wing crowd-pleaser Breyton Paulse (@BreytonPaulse) boasted: “Told you so! Great team effort by Baby Boks, that’s the gees. They looked down and out but rose to the occasion. Proudly South African, BOKBEF*K!”

Current Springbok No 8 Pierre Spies (@Pierrespies8), taking time out from preparation for the second senior Test at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday, said: “Well done Baby Boks! Great win, guys. #finishingstrong.”

JP Pietersen and Lwazi Mvovo also joined the most rapid praise-singers on Twitter, while the Stormers’ Bok-capped flyhalf Peter Grant (@PeterGrant_) interestingly noted: “Awesome vibe at the Baby Boks game. I really dig Newlands but the CT Stadium is pretty damn cool!”

Results form the IRB Junior World Championship on Tuesday:

Pool A

Wales 74, Samoa 3
New Zealand 33, Fiji 12

Pool B

Ireland 41, Italy 12
South Africa 28, England 15

Pool C

Argentina 17, Scotland 12
France 31, Australia 7


June 17

Ninth place semi-finals

Scotland v Italy
Fiji v Samoa

Fifth place semi-finals

France v Australia
Ireland v England


Wales v New Zealand
South Africa v Argentina

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


  • heinrich.beukes1 - 2012-06-12 22:42

    Ek dink nie die Engelse dink dit is snaaks nie hahaha nou lag ek hulle verloor more teen die SA Barbarians ook, dit sal die grap van die jaar wees.

      anton.bischoff - 2012-06-12 22:48


      heinrich.beukes1 - 2012-06-12 22:50

      ek dink ook so Anton dit sal ten to one 'n goeie pakslae vir die Barbarians wees

  • vic.jablowski - 2012-06-12 23:35

    One way traffic. I support SA but this is not a Barbarian side. This side is going to be klapped. Where is the competition. We have always prided ourselves as been competitive.

  • banks.mokhachane - 2012-06-13 00:15

    william small smith, pieter steph du toit, paul jordaan, that's GREY COLLEGE class right there, Stabilis

      steyts - 2012-06-13 06:42

      What about Jan Serfontein??? That man will be a great rugby player!! Just a shame the bulls already have him...

      banks.mokhachane - 2012-06-13 10:03

      @steyts, bulls always poach the college's players, after matric and you most definately spot on with serfontein, the boy will be sucked off creativity and wil be forced to play the 'maak sag voor' type of rugby the bulls play, these boys leave being creative attacking players frm school, to being metronomic ordinary franchise players

  • grant.butler.104 - 2012-06-13 07:05

    Well I certainly know where I will be Sunday!!

  • wayne.vandriel - 2012-06-13 07:13

    This is awesome! They really did play with heart and soul

      Renny - 2012-06-13 07:17

      One of the best matches of the tournament, baby boks you make us proud, well done.

      morne.deklerk - 2012-06-13 07:41

      I agree, putting aside some set phases problems and a bit of handling errors, the intensity and speed of the guys really impressed me. they played the way I sometimes wish Super15 teams could play, well done Juniors it was the best ever Tuesday night game!!!!

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