New SA Under 20 coach Dawie Theron was left in somewhat of a pensive mood following his trial team’s 10-50 annihilation at the hands of the Western Province Vodacom Cup team in Belville on Thursday afternoon.
While one would probably have expected Province to win the game, given that they are, for the most part, vastly more experienced and probably bigger and stronger than the youngsters they faced, Theron will no doubt privately feel that this was something of a disaster for him. The coach has made all the right moves and taken plenty of steps, including conditioning tests and internal trials, to ensure that he had selected the best available youngsters for this match. While he’s putting a brave face on the defeat and talking of “lessons learned” and “plenty to think about”, you can be sure that there’ll be a good few soul searching sessions to come, back at his drawing board.
South Africa have, in previous years, battled to live with the physical Kiwis and English sides at the IRB Junior World Championships. The ease with which a vastly understrength Western Province team handled his young team raises the distinct possibility that, if he were to take this exact group to the 2011 tournament, similar medicine would be in store.
While refusing to blame individuals, Theron gave an indication that he may be forced to look outside this group – with players putting their hands up at Vodacom Cup or even Super Rugby level coming into contention. “Our entire squad had an opportunity to show us as coaches and the national selectors today what they are made of,” he said, according to a SARU press release.. “Some guys impressed and others will probably have to work a lot harder if they intend staying in contention for the IRB Junior World Championships.
“We not going to single out any players at this point in time, but I am positive there is enough talent within this squad. The likes of our other age-group players on Super Rugby, Varsity Cup and Vodacom Cup duty will also still play a huge part in our planning going forward.”
For the record, Western Province scored ten tries to the two of the Baby Boks. Wingers Marcel Brache and Bom Samaai, both of whom played Currie Cup rugby last year, were among the scorers for the winning side.Tweet