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Junior Boks hit the road running in Italy

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    Posted: 22-Jun-2022 at 11:09am

The Junior Springboks arrived in Italy on Tuesday evening and immediately went about their business to fine tune their preparations for Friday’s opening match of the Under-20 Six Nations Summer Series against England in Verona.

 

The 30-man squad flew out of Cape Town on Monday evening via Dubai, finishing their 24-hour travel schedule with a bus trip from the airport in Milan to their base in Verona.

 

After checking into their Verona hotel in the early evening, the group had activation and massages to get rid of the travel stiffness.

 

The full training programme resumes on Wednesday, which will consist of some gym work in the morning and then planning and field sessions spread throughout the day.

 

Thursday is reserved for the captain’s run, where the final preparation of the game strategy will complete the on-field training for Friday’s opening clash with England.

 

Junior Springbok head coach Bafana Nhleko said the squad were happy to arrive in Verona after their training build-up Stellenbosch.

 

“Everyone is excited to be here and over the next two days we will be fine tuning our plans for England, which will be a massive game,” said Nhleko.

 

“We want the boys to settle in as quickly as possible and get into their normal routine because we only have two days before the tournament kicks off.”

 

It’s the first time in three years that the Junior Boks are playing in an overseas tournament again following the disruption of team travelling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Transvaal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2022 at 1:27pm
Goeie wen in die eerste wedstryd teen Engeland, en blykbaar die eerste keer in 9 jaar wat ons Engeland klop. Ruan Venter was goed op 7 en Steyn ook op 9, behalwe dat hy 'n paar dinge gedoen het wat hy kan laat staan soos om spelers vas te hou
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Transvaal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2022 at 1:28pm
Junior Boks start Summer Series on a winning note

The Junior Springboks started their Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series campaign on a winning note when they scored a good 30-22 victory over England U20 in their opening pool match on Friday evening in Verona, Italy.

 

Playing against a stiff wind, the South Africans went into the halftime break with a 10-7 lead, with their forward pack giving them a great platform to eventually outscore England by five tries to three.

 

England used their maul to great effect in a tightly contested opening period, however, the South Africans grew in confidence as the match progressed and in the end, they dominated the scrums and collisions to set up a well-deserved win against a powerful England side.

 

Junior Springbok coach Bafana Nhleko said he was satisfied with the win but was quick to add that they have much work to do for the next two matches, against Ireland on Tuesday, and then France.

 

“We are happy with the win because England are a quality side,” said Nhleko.

 

“They are physical but we knew what would be coming, however, we pride ourselves on our physicality and our forwards laid the foundation for a good win.”

 

The Junior Boks took a while to get into their stride.

 

“You could see it was our first match because we looked rusty at times,” explained Nhleko.

 

“However, we are happy with the victory, and we do realise there’s a lot of work to be done before we play the two teams who finished first and second in the U20 Six Nations this year.”

 

Junior Bok skipper and flyhalf Sacha Mngomezulu impressed with his distribution and decision-making, however, he had an off-day with the boot.

 

“Playing against the wind in the first half and going into the lead at the break with an advantage gave us a huge lift,” said Mngomezulu.

 

“We will enjoy the win, not get carried away and get straight into preparation for Ireland, who are the Six Nations' top side.”

 

The Junior Boks started the game strongly when left wing Suleiman Hartzenberg went over in the corner after a brilliant cross kick from Mngomezulu.

 

But a few minutes later, they were down to 14 men when openside flank Siya Ningza was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on.

 

England, playing with a stiff breeze behind them, kicked to the corner and used the maul for lock Ewan Richards to dot down.

 

The Junior Boks won the next penalty and from a scrum five meters out, No 8 Cameron Hanekom went over, only to see the try ruled out by the TMO.

 

South Africa ended the first half as they started, on high note, when lively scrumhalf Nico Steyn went over for their second try following a sniping run from right wing Donovan Don to put them 10-7 in front at the break.

 

With the wind in their backs in the second half, the Junior Boks built on their momentum, with Hanekom scoring his try following some lovely interplay to take the lead to 15-7.

 

The Junior Boks used their forwards to punch deep holes in the English defence, which led to their fourth try and Hartzenberg’s second as they took control at 22-10.

 

But England replied with a Emaka Ilione converted try to narrow the lead to 22-17, but they then conceded a penalty which Mngomezulu easily slotted to extend the South Africans’ lead to eight points at 25-17.

 

Reserve hooker Tiaan Lange scored their fifth try to take the score out of reach at 30-17, with England scoring a consolation try at the end as the game finished 30-22 in favour of the Junior Boks.

 

Scorers:

 

Junior Boks 30 (10) – Tries: Suleiman Hartzenberg (2), Nico Steyn, Cameron Hanekom, Tiaan Lange. Conversion: Sacha Mngomezulu. Penalty goal: Mngomezulu.

 

England 22 (7) – Tries: Ewan Richards, Imeka Ilione, Conor Oresanya. Conversions: Fin Smith (2). Penalty goal: Smith.

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