Junior Boks seal series

Prop Jan van der Merwe grabbed a first-half hat-trick to guide the Junior Springboks to a 39-28 win over Argentina in Rosario on Saturday.

The result seals a 2-0 series victory for Dawie Theron's men as the continue preparations for the World Rugby U20 Championship to be held in Italy next month.

The Junior Boks raced into a commanding 25-6 half-time lead courtesy of Van der Merwe's efforts. They scored two more tries in the second half through Leolin Zas (wing) and Joseph Dweba (replacement hooker).

However, they had to show great determination on defence against Los Pumitas, who stormed back with three tries in the second stanza.

Theron was pleased with his side's performance over the two matches.

'We started much better than on Tuesday and even while we were in control in the first half, I knew they would storm back. They played with passion and determination after the break and our players had to show real character,' said Theron. 'This group showed a lot of fight and a great willingness to grind out a win, despite the intimidating atmosphere.'

Argentina U20 – Tries: Juan Cruz Matilda, Santiago Resino, Ernesto Olmedo. Conversions: Emiliano Bofelli, Domingo Miotti. Penalties: Bofelli (3).
Junior Boks – Tries: Jan van der Merwe (3), Leolin Zas, Joseph Dweba. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (4). Penalties: Tomson (2).

Argentina U20 – 15 Matías Ferro, 14 Juan Cruz Mallia, 13 Emiliano Bofelli, 12 Tomas Granella, 11 Eugenio Achilli, 10 Bautista Ezcurra (c), 9 Lautaro Bazan Vélez, 8 Lucas Gasparri, 7 Enzo Ocampo, 6 José Deheza, 5 Ignacio Calas, 4 Vittorio Rosti, 3 Cristian Bartolini, 2 Ignacio Calles, 1 Nicolás Ocello.
Subs: Ernesto Olmedo, Patricio Baronio, Eduardo Bello, Javier Díaz, Benito Paolucci, Gaspar Baldunciel, Ignacio Larrague, Julián Domínguez, Domingo Miotti, Santiago Resino, Santiago Medrano, Ignacio Albornoz, Juan Cruz Cuyaube.

Junior Boks – 15 Grant Hermanus 14 Khanyo Ngcukana, 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 Hyron Andrews, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Jan van der Merwe, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Subs: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Njabulo Gumede, 18 Ruan Kramer, 19 Abongile Nonkontwana, 20 Rikus Bothma, 21 Marco Jansen van Vuuren, 22 Ernst Stapelberg, 23 Malcom Jaer.

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images