South African under-20 fullback Sias Ebersohn was the star for the Baby Boks after they defeated Fiji 36-10 in their opening Group C match at the IRB Junior World Championship in Osaka, Japan on Friday.
Sport24 reports that Ebersohn ran in one try, slotted three penalties and two conversions and kicked a drop-goal, racking up 21 points for the South Africans. SA Under-20 captain Robert Ebersohn, twin brother of Sias, Christiaan Stander and Sampie Mastriet were the other try-scorers for the Baby Boks.
“We expected this game to be a physical, tough encounter, but after the first game, we’ll build some momentum and will get better,” said SA Under-20 coach Eric Sauls after match.
“Any team, especially a young team, becomes shaky at the start of a tournament. They made errors or didn’t get to go for the balls, so at the half time I told the boys to relax, not to panic and take it step by step. That is why we had a different approach in the second half.”
While the final score indicated that the South Africans easily defeated Fiji in their first game of the IRB Junior World Championship, the Baby Boks only held a slim 14-10 half-time lead after Fijian centre Noa Nakaitaci scored all the points for his side before the break.
Sias Ebersohn opened the scoring in the with a penalty goal before Christiaan Stander ran in for South African Under-20’s first try. The Baby Boks fullback then slotted another penalty before he brilliantly kicked a drop-goal to hand Saul’s side the half-time lead.
The South Africans though were in rampant mood after the break and ran in three more tries after both Ebersohn brothers and Mastriet crossed the try-line.
“We didn’t give them time to defend and got them holding on. Now, we are going to the next game, but we’ll just take it step by step and must win all our games in this pool in order to go to the final,” said the SA Under-20 captain after the match.
SA - Tries: Robert Ebersohn, Christiaan Stander, Sias Ebersohn, Sampie Mastriet; Conversions: Sias Ebersohn (2); Penalties: Sias Ebersohn (3); Drop-goal: Sias Ebersohn.
Fiji – Tries: Noa Nakaitaci; Conversion: Nakataitaci; Penalties: Nakataitaci.Tweet