Junior Springbok assistant coach Bafana Nhleko says the team have plenty to work on ahead of their final pool match against New Zealand on Wednesday.
The SA U20s will line up against New Zealand in Rosario in the crucial match that will decide which team will top Pool C and gain automatic entry into the semi-finals. The Junior Boks and the NZ U20s are two of only four unbeaten teams left in the competition. Defending champions France (Pool A) and Australia (Pool B) are the others.
The three pool winners at the conclusion of the round-robin stages and the next-best placed team in the competition will advance to the semi-finals.
After two rounds of matches, the Junior Boks are at the top of the Pool C log with 10 log points and two bonus-point victories – the same as New Zealand – but they hold a slender one-point lead on points difference over the Kiwis.
However, this has not clouded the judgement of Nhleko and the rest of the Junior Springbok coaching team about the win against Georgia.
‘We are quite happy that we scored eight tries, and with the forwards’ showing in the scrums, but we also take pride in our basics and details, so we take it personally that we made so many errors.
‘Our handling, breakdown play and discipline are massive issues, and we were also below average with some of our defensive decision-making. The good thing about the match against Georgia is that it is done. We have to fix those errors, but I believe we will be up for the next game.
‘It is a World Rugby U20 Championship, so one has to have the mindset that you have to be on top and win your games. We still have one pool game though, and that will be the most important one to determine where we stand in the competition.
‘The biggest focus for us is that if we get things right and do what we know we are capable of, we will hopefully get a positive result [against New Zealand].’
The Junior Springboks had a recovery day on Sunday, and will return to the training field on Monday to begin their preparations for the clash against New Zealand.
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