Wandisile Simelane and Manie Libbok each scored a brace as the Junior Boks claimed a 38-14 bonus-point win against Georgia in Tbilisi on Sunday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Coach Chean Roux made nine changes to his starting lineup after the 23-23 draw against France last Wednesday, and – with the exception of the lineout – this resulted in a much improved performance. The Junior Boks had a dominant scrum and attacked with confidence.
Georgia, with the vocal home crowd in support, were impressive in the first half and took the fight to the South Africans.
After two missed penalties from both sides, the Junior Boks found themselves in opposition territory, but with no real go-forward, centre Damian Willemse made a play for the line with a strong run. They then strung together a sequence of pick and go’s and soon No 8 Juarno Augustus crashed over.
Georgia looked set to respond immediately when captain Ilia Spanderashvili went over, but a last-ditch tackle by Libbok dislodged the ball from his grasp in the in-goal area. It didn’t matter, though, as the hosts soon levelled the scores through a converted effort by tighthead prop Lasha Tabidze.
Despite playing second fiddle for much of the first half, the Junior Boks struck a crucial double blow before the break through two brilliant long-range tries by Simelane and Libbok for a 19-7 lead.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first, as the Junior Boks outscored Georgia 19 -7 again.
Curwin Bosch was introduced at flyhalf soon after the resumption, with Libbok shifting to fullback and Jean-Luc Cilliers dropping to the bench.
Bosch had an immediate impact. Once Georgia were reduced to 14 players, SA U20 attacked and, spotting an overlap out wide, Bosch swung a looping pass to Johan Grobbelaar, who swiftly tapped the ball on to wing Yaw Penxe to finish.
Two minutes later, the Junior Boks went all of 100m with a series of superb offloads, resulting in Simelane’s second.
There would be another try either way as Libbok completed his double, but the game ended on a sour note as the referee reduced both teams to 14 men.
Zain Davids, who also plays for the Blitzboks, was shown a straight red card for head-butting an opponent in an act of retaliation, placing his participation in the remainder of the tournament in jeopardy.
Georgia – Tries: Lasha Tabidze, Giorgi Gogoladze. Conversions: Gela Aprasidze (2).
Junior Boks – Tries: Juarno Augustus, Wandisile Simelane (2), Manie Libbok (2), Yaw Penxe. Conversions: Jean-Luc Cilliers (2), Curwin Bosch (2).
Georgia – 15 Miriani Modebadze, 14 Akaki Tabutsadze, 13 Bezhani Gavashelishvili, 12 Aleksandre Kveseladze, 11 Davit Meskhi, 10 Tedo Abzhandadze, 9 Gela Aprasidze, 8 Shota Areshidze, 7 Ilia Spanderashvili (C), 6 Tornike Jalanogia, 5 Lasha Jaiani, 4 Koba Jimsheleishvili, 3 Lasha Tabidze, 2 Levan Papidze, 1 Ushangi Tcheishvili.
Subs: 16 Tengiz Zamtaradze, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Revaz Dugladze, 19 Beka Saghinadze, 20 Aleksandre Kalmakhelidze, 21 Luka Dvalishvili, 22 Giorgi Tsiklauri, 23 Giorgi Gogoladze.
Junior Boks – 15 Jeanluc Cilliers, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Gianni Lombard, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn (c), 6 Len Massyn, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Carlű Sadie, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Kwenzo Blose.
Subs: 16 Gerhard Steenekamp, 17 Daniel Jooste, 18 Wikus Groenewald, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Zain Davids, 21 Francois de Villiers, 22 Stedman Gans, 23 Curwin Bosch.
Photo: Levan Verdzeuli/World Rugby