Junior Boks show mettle in the wet against Georgia

The Junior Springboks put together their best performance of the international series to claim an impressive win over Georgia in a wet-weather match in Stellenbosch on Monday.

After their 42-0 victory, the Junior Springboks go through to the grand finale of the series unbeaten where they will face either Argentina or Uruguay on Saturday, depending on which team win later on Monday.

Gameflow: In a torrential downpour at Paul Roos, the Junior Springboks did not have the best of starts, conceding nine penalties in the opening 20 minutes and struggling to execute their set piece.

The match was deadlocked at 0-0 before the Junior Boks struck when good hands from centre Mambo Mkhize and lock Raynard Roets put Dalvon Blood free out wide for the wing to score.

Georgia tried to bounce back and won a couple of penalties, with SA U20 flank Raynard Mouton yellow-carded in one. However, it was the home side that would strike as they turned down a kickable penalty to go for a five-metre lineout. This proved to be the correct decision when, after a couple of strong carries from the pack, it was outside centre Henco van Wyk who reached over to put them 14-0 up at the break.

The Junior Springboks carried this momentum into the second, winning penalty after penalty, and eventually Georgia had two players yellow-carded in quick succession. George Cronje and scrumhalf Nico Steyn scored a try each as the Junior Boks took full advantage of their superior numbers.

The game was all but decided when Blood counter-attacked from a poor clearance, stepping a tackler, passing on his inside to Bradley Davids who in turn put Cronje away for his second try. There was still time for Van Wyk to claim his second try to cap an excellent performance.

Players who shone: In what was always going to be a tough test for the Junior Boks, loose forward Siya Ningiza led the way in stamping the home side’s authority on the match. Ningiza made some very strong carries and put in some big hits in a star performance by the blindside flank.

The Junior Springbok scrum was also much improved, despite it being put under pressure early on from Georgia.

Making their first start of the campaign, scrumhalf Nico Steyn and flyhalf Sacha Mngomezulu controlled the game very well in difficult conditions. Wing Dalvon Blood looked dangerous whenever he got on the ball and clearly has bags of pace to boot.

Meanwhile, Kian Meadon had a near-perfect day with the boot, missing a penalty, but converting all six of the Junior Springboks’ tries.

Junior Springboks – Tries: Dalvon Blood, Henco van Wyk (2), George Cronje (2), Nico Steyn. Conversions: Kian Meadon (6).
Georgia – 0.

Junior Springboks – 15 Kian Meadon, 14 Curwin Gertse, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Mambo Mkhize, 11 Dalvon Blood, 10 Sacha Mngomezulu, 9 Nico Steyn, 8 Izan Esterhuizen, 7 Siya Ningiza, 6 Rynard Mouton, 5 Dylan de Leeuw, 4 Raynard Roets, 3 Sibusiso Shongwe, 2 Jacques Goosen (c), 1 Nolan Pienaar.
Subs (from): Andre-Hugo Venter, Blaine Golden, Corne Weilbach (nominated front row), Simon Miller, Reinhardt Ludwig, Sasko Ndlovu, George Cronje, Bradley Davids, Bobby Alexander, Jordan Hendrikse, Ethan James, Tyler Bocks, Quan Horn.

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Dylan Jack