South Africa made clear their tournament ambitions with a big win over USA at the Racecourse Ground to secure the bonus prize and a huge haul of points in the bag.
The IRB The Baby Boks wasted little time in registering their first points as centre Stefan Watermeyer carved his way through the USA defence for a try converted by outside half Josias Ebersohn.
Then from a driven lineout in the corner, flanker Thiliphaut Marole emerged from a pile of bodies to claim South Africa’s second try, Ebersohn again converting.
A penalty goal by scrum half Sean Treacy gave USA respite but only for a short period as South Africa’s Ebersohn made the break for a try by hooker Pieter Janse Van Vuuren. Eberson converted and then converted his own try before adding the extra points to a second touchdown from Van Vuuren.
Fortunately for the game, USA replied, with a Thretton Palamo try converted by Treacy. The USA scrum half then kicked his second penalty goal after South Africa lock Sobelo Nhlapo had committed a yellow-card offence.
A superb run by USA wing Zach Test all but brought a score, but from the ensuing line-out, prop Stevie Johnston gained possession to score his side’s second try.
But in first-half injury time, South Africa skipper Gerrit Jan Van Velze slipped in for a try, Ebersohn converting for a 42-18 interval lead.
Van Velze started the second-half try fest from a five-metre scrum, before wing Lionel Mapoe, Watermeyer, with his second score, and then Van Vuuren for his hat-trick, touched down, Ebersohn maintaining his 100 per cent conversion record.
The avalanche continued, with tries by Nhlapo, wing Vainon Willis, two from replacement Francois Brummer, a third from Watermeyer, and a sign-off score from replacement Lusaneni Luvuyiso, Brummer converting four.
South Africa coach Eric Sauls: “We will build on the confidence gained from this match. What pleased me was that we kept out structure when the game became loose.”
South Africa captain Gerrit Jan van Velze: “We certainly started off on a good note but we’re aware that we conceded two tries in the last 20 minutes of the first half. We pride ourselves in defence so we must look at this before the Scotland game.”
USA coach Salty Thompson: “It was a big baptism of fire for us. We got 18 points and probably played for 18 minutes.”
USA captain Scott Lavalla: “We gave them too much ball. There were too many turnovers. But we were pleased with out two tries in the first half.”
South Africa U20s: Tries: Pieter van Vuuren (3), Gerrit-Jan van Velze (2), Stefan Watermeyer (2), Francois Brummer (2), Thiliphaut Marole, Sias Ebersohn, Robert Ebersohn, Lionel Mapoe, Sabelo Nhlapo, Vainon Willis. Conversions: Sias Ebersohn (10), Brummer (4).
US U20s: Tries: Thretton Palamo, Stevie Johnston. Conversion: Sean Treacy. Penalties: TreacyTweet