Junior Springboks flatten Varsity Cup Dream Team in Stellenbosch

BY MARC JACOBSON - APRIL 26, 2017
Junior Springboks flatten Varsity Cup Dream Team in Stellenbosch

The Varsity Cup Dream Team was shown up against the Junior Springboks when they slumped 50-19 at the Matie’s home venue, the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Tuesday night.

The match did not earn its stripes for the most spectacular showing; with the Junior Boks still experimenting for their structural and combination assortment, while the Dream Team played together for only the first time after only combining just a week ago.

The game was the fourth and last chance for Head Coach Chean Roux and his SA U20 side to endeavour their prospects ahead of the U20 World Championships in early June 2017, and there are certainly some rust that needs scalping off before the international showpiece.

The score-line does somewhat flatter the Junior Boks, but their resilience and fitness ignited as the match came to a close.

Their line-outs for one were dismal to say the least, as poor throwing, a lack of communication and poor jumping, cost the SA U20 side from arming that front throughout the game.

The Junior Boks also suffered a bit at the breakdowns, and were one too many times unable to advance after regrouping phase-plays, and as a result, downed their momentum.

Credit must be given to the Dream Team for interrupting and sharply scavenging for the ball in loose-play and at the breakdowns, but at times it was simply inexcusable for a side representing the best in the country under the age of 20.

At times, with ball-in-hand, both sides were relatively scrappy in their approach, but it was the Junior Boks who always looked more potent in their attacking plays, with a general higher go-forward rate.

This ensued approximately midway first half, when the SA U20’s were shockingly down 19-7, but then scored 43 unanswered points throughout the rest of the match to produce that complimentary score-line.

The half-time score was 21-19 to the Junior Boks, and credit could be given to them for upping the ante in the second  half, with star performances from flyhalf Damian Willemse, scrumhalf Embrose Papier and lock Ruben van Heerden cementing their places in the side ahead of the World U20 Championships in Georgia.

The team will leave for the tournament on May 25th, with their first match against France on June the 3rd.

Junior Boks – Tries: Ruben van Heerden (2), Salmaan Moerat, Muller Uys, Damian Willemse, Nama Xaba, Manie Libbok. Conversions: Gianni Lombard (6). Penalty: Lombard.
Varsity Cup Dream Team – Tries: Duncan Saal, Craig Barry, Loftus Morrison. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (2).

Image: Ruben van Heerden being congratulated by Stedman Gans after scoring a try