Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux lauded his team’s fighting spirit to claim the bronze medal at the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday.
The SA U20s outplayed hosts Argentina in a 41-16 victory to finish third overall at the tournament. It is the third time in succession that Chean Roux’s charges have claimed bronze at the tournament and eighth overall.
While Argentina dominated possession, especially in the second half, Roux was happy with the way his team defended after a long month of rugby.
‘I am very happy for the players,’ said Roux. ‘It is tough to play five games in a row, so credit to them for finishing the tournament strongly.
‘In the second half we made silly mistakes and we couldn’t get our hands on the ball, but we stuck to our guns with our defence. Great defence creates chances and opportunities, and the team did a good job to pounce on that.’
Roux added that while they were disappointed not to have come away with gold, there was plenty for the management team and players to take away from the tournament.
‘From a results perspective, we wanted to win the trophy, so the lesson we will take from this is that every game is important. You cannot slip one, and unfortunately we were not up for it against France. But that said one needs a little bit of luck as well.
‘From a player development point of view, however, several players put up their hands and took big strides forward in the last few months, so we will keep an eye on them.’
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