Baby Boks stuffed by New Zealand

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 18 Jun 2010 at 09:35
Tagged with : , , , , ,

The South African Under 20 side suffered a frankly embarrassing 36-7 defeat to the Baby Blacks in the semi-finals of the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina last night. The Kiwis will go on to face Australia in the final on Monday, while Eric Sauls’ men will now have to fight England to see who ends third.

The result exposed a few worrying factors for South Africa – not to mention the rugby world in general, since there is such a massive gulf in class between the four largest (read, richest) rugby nations and the rest of the world. For a South African side to be able to score 73 unanswered points against Scotland – and then still get annihilated by New Zealand, just makes you shudder to think what would happen were the kiwis to play the Scots at this level of the game. Surely something the IRB needs to look at if they are serious about broadening the appeal of this great sport…

Looking more closely at our own woes, though, I fear we were somewhat lulled into a false sense of security as a result of big wins against weak opposition in the first two games. Fact is, this team is simply not good enough – in any facet of the game – to challenge for higher honours on the international stage. The pack is soft and has been absolutely monstered in the scrums by both Australia (yes! Australia!) and New Zealand in successive games. Ball retention at the breakdown is non-existant and about the only facet of forward play that looks about right is the lineouts. Decision-making at halfback is poor, while defence is a massive problem throughout the team.

Quite simply, for a team selected from the vast talent pool that South Africa has to offer, this performance was quite simply nowhere near good enough and (to my mind), fingers need to be pointed at the coaching staff. Let’s bear in mind that Eric Sauls has been in charge for three years now and the result is always the same, whereas in years gone by, we have regularly won championships at junior level.

Tighthead prop Marcel van der Merwe and lock Keke Okafor were both prominent on the drive last night, with hooker Monde Hadebe also putting in a few touches. The tight five as a whole scores a fat zero, though, for utter dereliction of duty in the tight phases and the loose forwards were similarly anonymous, with opensider Siya Kolisi showing a few glimpses of what he might be able to do were he playing in a more dominant pack. Lubabalo Mthembu out in some exciting runs when he came on later and had the commentators oohing and aahing, but again it was a case of too little, too late when he tried to spark a revival late in the game.

Scrumhalf Louis Schreduer was, quite simply, atrocious. He single-handedly ensured that whatever good ball did come back from the forwards (there was little) was completely ruined through indecision and poor execution. Flyhalf Jantjes doesn’t have the hands or the skill levels to challenge the best, while centres Branco du Preez and Jaco Taute were both dangerous on attack, yet utterly, utterly woeful on defence. Hell, if the Baby Blacks hadn’t had a serious case of the dropsies all night, they could have scored ten tries simply by running at du Preez, who simply cannot tackle. He’s a wonderful stepper, though and scored the only Baby Bok try on the night.

The back three were similarly ineffective, with Pat Lambie enduring a frustrating evening as he was unable to assert himself on the game. Far too often, he received bad ball and had literally nothing to do other than to hack it away – in all, far from his best performance. Wandile Mjekevu showed some strength and a few good running lines, but his hands let him down far too often and he failed to finish off a number of good scoring opportunities. I believe the other wing was Nico Scheepers, but I’m still trying to remember a single thing that he did all night, whether good or bad.

Not a great result for the Baby Bok class of 2010, it must be said. Of the players on show, only Lambie, Mjekevu and possibly Taute look ready to play Currie Cup rugby, with the rest needing to go back to their unions to see if some proper coaching there can undo some of the damage.


  • Luckily I decided to go to bed early last night….it’s been bloody cold in sunny South Africa this week. I watched Sunday night’s game against Aus and even then the defence were woefull. I’m shocked at how bad the scrums were and it’s difficult for a team to play well when you can’t even get half decent ball from the scrums. Aren’t we supposed to have a scrum academy(or something like that) in SA?? Surely this team would have been involved there??

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.06.10 09:49:20 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • It’s a shame that we bombed here..

    Defence was kak, Backline was poor, Lineouts were okay.

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.06.10 09:59:19 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • We were supposed to do so much better last night. So many opportunities from turnovers etc. I hate to say this but our backline didn’t look up to the physical challenge that NZ put forward. We were to light. And I know that Gio is light as well, but he’s played one good test and has the protection of a backline that pushes the scales close to 100kgs on average. Our skill needs to bulk up a bit – to give them confidence on attack and defense.

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.06.10 10:31:10 by SandTiger Reply

  • Appalling display.

    Coaches need to take the heat: there was just not enough physicality in the team, while the defence technique and communication was really poor.

    APlon is too small and will be found out.

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.06.10 10:49:43 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Felt like a heroin addict…knew I should not be watching the game, that it wasn’t good for me, but couldn’t help myself! Coach HAS to take the brunt for this one, because I simply CAN NOT believe that our guys can not tackle or defend. Lambie proved that he is more than capable in the S14. Scrumhalf was AWFUL AWFUL! But this was evident in the Oz game, so why was he there for the NZ game? Why did he play the same way?

    I don’t understand the current breed of Coaches obsession with trying to play the “New Zealand” style of rugby – why cant we stick with what we are good at – we have won two world cups that way. Why have they stopped coaching defense? Surely the is more important than attack – if the opposition can’t score they can’t win!

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.06.10 11:04:03 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • @Big Fish (Comment 4) : “APlon is too small and will be found out”
    HUGE fan of Aplon – but i fear you are right….if the Bull made mince meat of him, the AB and the Ozzies will chew him up….

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.06.10 11:05:11 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • @Big Fish (Comment 4) : Have to agree with you about Aplon – he has a huge heart, but… 🙄 , and imho he is a wee bit suspect on defence as well ❓

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.06.10 11:06:19 by diablo (VICTORY! sweeter on neutral ground!) Reply

  • It was like watching paint dry on a cold Winter’s night… 🙄

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.06.10 11:21:26 by Charlie Reply

  • KZN are stuffing Griquas at Grant Khomo Week

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.06.10 11:25:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Luckily I saw this one coming. Our defense wasn`t good enough to keep Oz out . . . we never stood a chance against NZ.

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.06.10 11:37:42 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Does HRE coach the Baby Boks backline?

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.06.10 11:48:18 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • I watched the baby boks play the French u20 selection in Biarritz earlier this year, a game they lost. Im not sure if the number 9 for that game was the same as the one you mention in this article. If so, he must have parents in the selection committee. In Biarritz, the SA number 9 couldnt pass, couldnt run, couldnt tackle and his kicking was awful. Im not even sure he could actually chew gum and walk at the same time. When he was replaced with 10 mins to go, the baby boks scored their only try and pushed hard for another which would have leveled the game. Interesting selection policies they seem to have..

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.06.10 11:50:55 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • my 2 cents worth……tackling skills were non existent…..sorry coach…you got to take the flack here…..resign before you kicked 😉 (that (both counts) is wishful thinking) 😀

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.06.10 11:51:58 by Me2 aka Mama Shark Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • Oh no Baby Boks what went wrong you are the future Springboks 👿 😈

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.06.10 11:56:26 by chaz (For you Bru) Reply

  • I watched the first 15 minutes of the game and it actualy looked like the whole team was full of jorrie krugers… Terrible , must be rated as one of the worst bok teams ever.

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.06.10 11:58:22 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • What we desperately need now is one of those MIB “Flashy Things” to erase the memories of this Baby Bok squad so we have a fighting chance when this lot become real Boks one day and face the same opponents in the Tri-Nations :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.06.10 12:02:52 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 12) : same story last night… only when Luan Jacobs came on did the Baby Boks start to improve a little… Schreduer was atrocious

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.06.10 12:07:10 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 12) :

    He passed to the touch judge last night!! 😆

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.06.10 12:13:08 by wpw Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : Agree with you.

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.06.10 12:15:14 by Me2 aka Mama Shark Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • @wpw (Comment 18) : I saw that!!!! 😀

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.06.10 12:16:13 by Me2 aka Mama Shark Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • Hope you all like my new avatar! Compliments of KSA!!!! 😎

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.06.10 12:22:58 by Me2 aka Mama Shark Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • @Me2 aka Mama Shark (Comment 20) :

    He must surely be related to Wynand Olivier!! 😈

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.06.10 12:24:35 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 22) : 😈

    Cheers all!! Off early today!!
    Enjoy the weekend and
    GO BOKKE!!!!

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.06.10 12:28:13 by Me2 aka Mama Shark Reply

    Me2 aka Mama Shark
  • @Me2 aka Mama Shark (Comment 21) : sorry mama shark me don’t see anything except the old avatar 😕

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.06.10 13:37:36 by chaz (For you Bro) Reply

  • I see keo is calling for Eric Sauls head.

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.06.10 14:55:25 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • Take Bleyendall and Savea out of the NZ Side and it would have been a lot closer.

    They are special….bolters for the AB RWC Squad 2011 ❗

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.06.10 18:27:48 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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    Hertford Highlander
  • Apologies to you wpw. You were right abt Sauls and I was wrong. Dont know the who and the what behind and inside the Baby ‘Boks’, so i cant vey for his resignation. I only watched the 2nd halve and the only positive i can draw from that, is that i’m glad i didnt watch the 1st halve.

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.06.10 18:33:58 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

  • @JustPlainSHARK (Comment 27) :

    Selection looks the issue !

    the backs were a bunch of midgets ! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.06.10 18:36:00 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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    Hertford Highlander
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 28) : the backs also seemed to have problems with defence, offence, kicking, catching and everything else.

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.06.10 18:41:07 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @lostfish (Comment 29) :

    …there seemed to be some very suspect selections out there.

    ….. The fly half and inside centre just have no future in the game….. just massively out of their depth

    you can’t tell me SA officials didn’t know that ! ❓

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.06.10 18:46:06 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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    Hertford Highlander
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 30) : Unfortunately the officials usually don’t do what is best for the game. It does call into question the coach and how in 3 years he has not been able to get results at this level.

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.06.10 19:06:56 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @JustPlainSHARK (Comment 27) : lovely 🙂

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.06.10 21:16:46 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • i watched the game with a bunch of colleagues (black men who do not understand rugby, and to whom i had to explain everything-and i’m saying this to illustrate their comment. nothing to do with politicss rob). They asked me what age group the Baby Boks were and i told them that its u/20. But when they saw the AB’s, they seem a bit digruntled and said flatly: “Eish, but they are men” and “That man is then old” (referring to the AB caveman at no.5. So HH, i have to agree with yo that the Baby “Boks” were smaller than the AB’s. maybe it is a selection problem….but lets rather leave that for now. the tournament is done and dusted. no further attention will be given to this in the SA media, so the selectors will be non the wiser to the feeling or indication to where they erred in selection. If these guys are the future of SA rugby, then i’m afraid they need a lot more guidance and coaching. Otherwise SA rugby are chin deep in the brown stuff. I smell it already.

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.06.10 03:14:57 by JustPlainSHARK Reply


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