Griquas grind down Junior Boks

The Junior Boks suffered a 31-21 defeat in their second warm-up match against Griquas in Kimberley on Wednesday.

Griquas were quick out of the blocks and opened a commanding 17-point lead, thanks to a penalty by George Whitehead, and converted tries by scrumhalf Christiaan Meyer and wing Alvin Brand.

The Junior Boks would cut that deficit to only three points, courtesy of a dominant display in the last 10 minutes before the break. Prop Gerhard Steenkamp crossed for the first try, and three minutes later hard-running centre David Brits ran a good line to beat the Griquas defence. Fullback Jean-Luc Cilliers converted both tries as the Junior Boks trailed 17-14 at half-time.

The hosts would go on to score first in the second half, but SA U20 didn't allow them to pull away on the scoreboard as scrumhalf Embrose Papier dashed over the tryline to make it 24-21.

Griquas, however, managed to score their fourth try late in the game to seal a 10-point victory.

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'I am happy with the game, as we got exactly what we expected from them,' said Junior Boks coach Chean Roux. 'It was a hard and tough encounter with some big collisions, which is what we wanted. We may have lost by 10 points, but the scoreboard is not important. Our focus was on seeing if we could work in units and to see if our structures are falling into place.

'There was definitely an improvement in the defence. We showed some great urgency and character on the tryline. They kept Griquas out for 10 to 15 phases at times. However, there is definitely hard work to be done regarding our set piece in the coming weeks.'

Junior Springboks – Tries: Gerhard Steenekamp, David Brits, Embrose Papier. Conversions: Jean-Luc Cilliers (3).
Griquas – Tries: Christiaan Meyer (2), Alvin Brandt, Wendal Wehr. Conversions: George Whitehead (4). Penalty: Whitehead.

Junior Springboks – 15 Jean-Luc Cilliers, 14 Manie Libbok, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 David Brits, 11 Mfundo Ndhlovu, 10 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Jondre Williams, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Muller Uy, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Hendre Stassen, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Johan Grobbelaar (c), 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Subs: 16 Wikus Groenewald, 17 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 18 Marnus van der Merwe, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Len Massyn, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Damian Willemse, 23 Wayne van der Bank.

Photo: Junior Boks

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