Junior Boks prove too much for varsity rugby stars in ‘dream clash’

P18 UJ captain, Johannes Snyman


The Junior Boks had a field day in the highly anticipated clash against the Varsity Cup Dream Team at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on 25 April with seven tries to complete a crushing 50–19 victory over varsity rugby’s rising stars.

Chean Roux, the Georgia-bound junior national side coach, was satisfied with his team’s commanding victory in what was a high-paced warm-up match.

The SA U20s outplayed the Varsity Cup side despite going into the break evenly poised at 21–19.

Read: Davids up to the task in Junior Boks versus Varsity Cup Dream Team clash

“It was a great test for us and it was good to play against players who have played a number of games this season,” said Roux. “Our warm-up matches during the second training camp were against teams that didn’t play many games before, so this was an excellent test for our players.”

Commenting on the lessons learnt in the match, Roux said, “In our lineouts, there were one or two technicalities that we got wrong, which we will work on in the next couple of weeks. I think the work rate of our forwards and our scrums were good and we played our rugby in the right areas of the field, which was another positive.”

Following a solid show by their forwards, the Junior Boks struck first in the fourth minute when lock Ruben van Heerden crashed over the tryline and fullback Gianni Lombard converted to take a 7– 0 lead. The Varsity Cup Dream Team fought back strongly, with winger, Duncan Saal, using raw pace to work his way through the Boks’ defence to score the Dream Team’s first try. Flyhalf, Tinus de Beer subsequently converted the try to level matters.

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Craig Barry, who captains the Dream Team put the noose on the opposition as he scored a try in the 22nd minute. He added another four minutes later, courtesy of some nifty work by lock, Loftus Morrison. This, after Chean Roux’s troops were reduced to 14 men as prop, Carl Sadie, received a yellow card for infringing at a breakdown. This resulted in The Dream Team sitting pretty on 19–7 inside 30 minutes.

The lead was, however, short-lived as an encouraging display by the Junior Boks’ forwards paved the way for Salmaan Moerat and Van Heerden to touch down, handing the team a narrow 21–19 lead heading into the break. After the resumption, flanker Muller Uys crossed in the corner after a scrum, while Lombard added a penalty minutes later to catapult the SA U20s 28–19 ahead.

The Junior Boks added a fifth try early in the fourth quarter, compliments of flyhalf Damian Willemse, to hand the Junior Boks a 36–19 lead. The final nail in the coffin came compliments of Nama Xaba and Manie Libbok, who added further tries in the dying minutes to ultimately ensure a resounding victory for the Junior Boks, who will take to Georgia in a little under a month’s time to contest the 2017 World Rugby Under 20 Championship.

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Tshepiso Mametela

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