It doesn’t happen every day that one of South Africa’s junior rugby teams gets slaughtered.
When it does happen, it is usually the Junior All Blacks of England, but on Sunday in Cape Town it was the young Irish’s turn to destroy the Junior Springboks’ dreams.
The Irish under-20 team defeated the Junior Boks 31-12 in the Athlone Stadium to reach the final of the World Rugby 0.20 Championships.
The Irish, the current Six Nations champion (for 0.20 teams), dominated the Junior Boks up front, especially in the second half.
In addition, the Junior Springboks’ discipline falters and their defense and scrum work also let them down.
The Junior Bokke started the tournament with a victory over Georgia, but not completely convinced.
They were beaten by Italy and advanced to the semi-finals after a win over Argentina, but again it was unconvincing, except for the last 15 minutes.
There are loads of talent and skilled players, but things just didn’t want to go smoothly.
What is worrying is that the Junior Springboks are the Springboks of tomorrow.
What went wrong? Was it coaching, or perhaps a wrong game pattern and tactic?
Scorers: Ireland 31 (7): Tries: James Nicholson (2), Brian Gleeson, Sam Berman. Goals: Sam Prendergast (4). Penalty Goal: Prendergast
South Africa 12 (0): Imad Khan, Coetzee le Roux. Goal kick: Jean Smith.