The Junior Boks scored five tries to beat Samoa 40-8 in their World Rugby U20 Championship match in Parma on Saturday, writes MARIETTE ADAMS.
The South Africans were much improved from their previous outing against Italy earlier in the week and dominated Samoa from start to finish.
Benefiting from superior possession and territory, the Junior Boks raced out to a deserved 13-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes. A strong leg-drive saw Sharks tighthead prop Thomas du Toit barge over for the first try, sandwiched between two penalty goals by flyhalf Brandon Thomson.
Samoa won a rare penalty and left wing Malu Falaniko succeeded with a long-range shot at goal to get the islanders on the board. But they couldn't negotiate the half without conceding again, as No 4 lock Jason Jenkins scored the Junior Boks' second try before Thomson slotted a third penalty for a 21-3 advantage at the interval.
Hanro Liebenberg's men maintained their stranglehold on proceedings in the second stanza, stealing a number of lineouts on Samoa's feed and executing several tightheads at the scrums.
And it was off the back of another powerful scrum that Liebenberg went over to extend his team's lead, before the backs got in on the act when wing Leolin Zas scored in the left-hand corner to put the result beyond doubt.
Samoa made a host of changes in the final quarter and it paid dividends as replacement fullback Pisi Leilua breached the Junior Boks' defence to finish a good team try with a swan dive in the right-hand corner.
But the South Africans would have the final say, with a penalty try in the dying moments rounding off an emphatic performance.
Junior Boks – Tries: Thomas du Toit, Jason Jenkins, Hanro Liebenberg, Leolin Zas, penalty try. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (2), Tinus de Beer. Penalties: Thomson (3).
Samoa – Try: Pisi Leilua. Penalty: Malu Falaniko.
Junior Boks – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Grant Hermanus, 13 JT Jackson, 12 Daniel du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Dan du Preez, 5 RG Snyman 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Jan van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 22 Tinus de Beer, 23 EW Viljoen.
Samoa – 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Johnny Samuelu, 13 Jonathan Faauli, 12 Josh Ioane, 11 Malu Falaniko, 10 Orbyn Leger, 9 Jonathan Taumateine, 8 Josh Dowsing, 7 Uini Fetalaiga, 6 Jordan Jackett, 5 Ben Tuiomanufili, 4 Giovanni Kuefner, 3 Marco Fepulea'i, 2 Ieremia Mataena, 1 Jarred Adams.
Subs: 16 Kemble Frost, 17 Junior Halafuka, 18 Mike Tamoaieta, 19 Ezra Meleisea, 20 Darren Tiumalu, 21 Melani Matavao, 22 Pepesana Patafilo, 23 Pisi Leilua.
New Zealand 32 Argentina 29
Ireland 24 Scotland 20
France 47 Japan 7
Photo: Junior Boks/Twitter