Junior Springboks coach Chean Roux says the experience of losing to England in the U20 Championship semi-final will help the players later in their careers.
The result, the Junior Boks’ third consecutive playoff loss to England, dashed their hopes of advancing to the final.
Roux says that the players, who will now turn their attention to a third-place playoff against New Zealand, will learn from the mistakes they made against England.
‘It is the second time in two years that we came close against England in the semi-final, but the team showed tremendous character in the second half,’ Roux said.
‘We have exciting backs and we tried to get the ball wide, but we spilled the ball or made mistakes in the wet weather. We then decided to keep things close with the forwards, and they did brilliantly, and we outscored them five tries to four in the end.
‘The players will learn from it, and it will help them in their careers going forward.’
Roux added that the players will have to show their mental strength to raise their game once again and secure a potential bronze medal.
‘We have to beat New Zealand. It is going to be difficult to get the players up for the next game, as we saw last year, but it will be the same for New Zealand.
‘We have brilliant players, and we still have some fresh legs in the group. They are excited, they want to play the All Blacks and they are keen to beat them. So we are looking forward to the next game.’
Photo: Pascal Pavini/AFP