Rugby

Junior Boks set sights on bronze medal

2016-06-21 22:13
SA Rugby logo (Supplied)

Cape Town - Junior Springbok assistant coach Nazeem Adams set his sights on a strong finish to the World Rugby Under-20 Championship, following the team’s 39-17 defeat against England in the semi-final on Monday night.

The Junior Springboks will face Argentina in the third place playoff at the AJ Bell Stadium at 14h30 (15h30 SA Time) on Saturday, and Adams singled out a better effort on defence and more effective finishing as the key areas to secure the bronze medal.

Argentina defeated the Junior Springboks 19-13 in their second pool match in the tournament, and Adams said they were determined to make amends for that result on Saturday.

“We are still hurting from the defeat against England,” said Adams.

“We had our video session this morning and we realise that we let ourselves down on attack and defence. But that said, it was good to see the players fight back in the second half. That character is exactly what we need in the bronze playoff against Argentina.

“We know it will be a challenging encounter against them, as we saw in our pool match, but we are determined to make up for our defeat against them. Our focus now is on a strong finish to the tournament, and we are determined to achieve that.”

Unfortunately for the Junior Boks wing S’busiso Nkosi and scrumhalf Embrose Papier were forced to return home on Tuesday due to the thigh and ankle injuries respectively, which ruled them out of the clash against England. A decision on the possible call-up of replacements will be made in due course.

“It is a big blow to lose S’bu and Embrose, as they are both talented players,” said Adams. “But injuries are part of the game. Given the quick turnaround between matches and the physical nature of the World Championship, there is always a risk of injury.”

The Junior Boks will have Tuesday afternoon off to rest and recover following a morning video session, and will return to training on Wednesday. 

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