Heartbreak for Junior Boks as Wales book final spot

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 19 Jun 2013 at 09:08
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The SA under 20 team suffered an agonising 17-18 lost to Wales under 20 in last night’s IRB Junior World Championship semi-final. After holding a slender lead going into the final ten minutes, a late try from Welsh winger Ashley Evans sealed the deal for the boys from the valleys, although it must be said that on the whole, those wearing red looked far more like men on the night than their counterparts in green.

It was another disjointed and error-strewn display from the Junior Boks, with their large pack of forwards once again failing to dominate any aspect of the contest, against a far better-drilled Welsh eight. The scrums were a disgrace, with Wales routinely walking the Boks back, 130kg tighthead and all, whilst the Boks also struggled at the breakdown and (to a lesser extent), the lineout. Halfbacks Stefan Ungerer and Rob du Preez battled to establish ascendancy with the slow untidy ball they received and while du Preez did well on the whole when kicking for touch, some of his in-field kicking work left a bit to be desired. This, of course, against the backdrop of a Bok team that seem determined to eschew their talented backline and rather opt to play “finals rugby”, even though their pack wasn’t going to enable them to win that way.

Wales established the early lead, with flyhalf Sam Davies’ capitalising from two Bok scrum infringements to converts successive penalties. A try to Bok lock Irne Herbst late in the half saw the team in green take a slender 7-6 lead into the break, with Handre Pollard nailing the tricky conversion, after missing an earlier penalty.

Pollard missed again early in the second period and it wasn’t long before a try to Welsh captain Ellis Jenkins erased the deficit. Davies’ only miss on the night saw Wales lead by 11 points to 7. Local hopes were for a time boosted as replacement flank Kwagga Smith – the only Junior Bok forward to impress on the night – barreled over after the quick-thinking Ungerer had taken a quick penalty. Pollard converted and then stroked over the second of two penalty attempts to give the Boks a 6-point buffer heading into the final minutes.

A comedy of errors in the final frantic period of play, though, saw Wales handed the ball, with Davies finally unlocking the Bok defence via a deft chip, which Evans collected to score in the right-hand corner. Davies showed nerves of steal to nail the conversion and consign the Junior Boks to a 3rd-place play-off appearance, rather than a second successive final.

South Africa (17)– Tries: Irne Herbst, Kwagga Smith. Conversions: Handré Pollard (2). Penalty: Pollard.
Wales (18) – Tries: Ellis Jenkins, Ashley Evans. Conversion: Sam Davies. Penalties: Sam Davies (2)


  • I hope we can beat the Baby Blacks in the 3rd place play-offs.

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.06.13 09:22:03 by SteelShark Reply
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  • @SteelShark (Comment 1) : I never watch 3rd-place play-off games. I don’t know why they have them.

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.06.13 09:26:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Also don’t see the point, except maybe that we’ll know for certain that we are 4th best instead of just suspecting it.

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.06.13 09:38:21 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @SteelShark (Comment 1) : You ever consider stand-up? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.06.13 09:38:43 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 3) : to be honest, I’m really hoping Wales wins, just so that we don’t have to endure all the pub talk about how we actually did beat the eventual champions.

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.06.13 09:48:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • Robert’s tactical kicking was poor last night, likewise Stefan Ungerer struggled. I cannot understand how Johan Meyer is not better than Ruan Steenkamp. Beerwinkel also very poor, the locks, well those okes are Bulls, could be the only reason they got into the side. There have to be better somewhere in SA. The no.5 did nothing the whole tournament. Kwagga is so good, pity about his size. Pollard had a poor tournament.

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.06.13 09:53:25 by Ludz Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 6) : Beerwinkel is considered a tighthead by the Bulls. Any idea why he played loosehead all tournament?

    As for that de Bruin kid…. wow, 130kg of useless.

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.06.13 09:57:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Only Smit and the reserve hooker actually played well in the forwards. Jaque Du Plesis was a huge let down.

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.06.13 10:12:06 by Talent Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : I can’t see Wales winning, that English side looks like a very good team, captain Jack Clifford is very good, Rossi Moriatti the no.6 also a very good young player. Not to forget Tom Hankin the no.7 another handy player. Luke Cowan-Dickie is superb. In the backline, I like Henry Slade, has a good temperament on him. The fullback Nowell is class!!!

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.06.13 10:19:29 by Ludz Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : not strong enough for tighthead. I heard something like that

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.06.13 10:22:43 by Ludz Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 10) : and de Bruin is? What a laugh

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.06.13 10:43:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : 😆

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.06.13 13:12:55 by rhineshark Reply
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