The Junior Springboks got off to a successful start to their summer U-20 Six Nations series with a 30-22 victory over England in a pool meet in Verona, Italy on Friday night.
The South Africans, playing against strong winds in the first half, led England with five to three attempts at the end of the game thanks largely to their group advantage.
South Africa’s U-20s scored the first goal through Solomon Harzenberg, who slipped into the corner after a superb cross-kick from Mengomizulu, giving his side an early lead.
The yellow card for open wing Sia Ningza saw that the men in green were reduced to 14 players. England kicked into the corner and used the knockout to lock down Ewan Richards to score as he played with a strong breeze behind them.
Following a penalty from Junior Boks, 8th seed Cameron Hanekum crossed the goal line from five metres, only to have the attempt turned over by TMO.
To finish the first half exactly the way it started, with Nico Stein scoring South Africa’s second attempt after a strong streak from right winger Donovan Don, South Africa led 10-7 at the end of the first half.
Junior Bucks continued to build momentum in the second half, with Honeycomb’s attempt that increased their advantage to 15-7. Junior Bucks then hit 22-10 after using their strikers to poke holes in the English defense, before Harzenberg hit his second fifth pointer.
England responded with Emaka Ilione’s successfully converted attempt to narrow the difference to 22-17, before SA responded with a penalty from Mngomezulu to make it 25-17.
Reserve prostitute Tian Lang scored the Baby Boks’ fifth attempt to make the score elusive at 30-17, before England’s late consolation closed the gap to 30-22.
– Junior SpringBoks June 24, 2022
“We are delighted to win because England is an outstanding team,” said Junior Springboks coach Bafana Nelliko. “They are physical but we knew what was going to happen, however, we pride ourselves on our physicality and our strikers laid the foundation for a good win.”
The Junior Boks took a while to get into their stride. Captain Sacha Mengomizulu made an impression in his decision-making and distribution, but he struggled with the boot.
“You could see that it was our first match because sometimes we looked rusty,” Nelliko explained. “However, we are delighted with the win, and we know that there is a lot of work to be done before we play with the two teams that finished first and second in this year’s Six Nations Championship.”
“Playing against the wind in the first half and going up in the first half with an advantage gave us a huge boost,” said Mengomizulu.
“We’ll enjoy the win, not get carried away and prepare straight for Ireland, which ranks at the top of the six nations.”
scorers: Junior Boxing 30 (10) – tries: Solomon Harzenberg (2), Nico Stein, Cameron Hanekum, Tian Lang. Transferred by: Sacha Mengomizulu. Penalty kick: Mengomizulu.
England 22 (7) – tries: Ewan Richards, Emeka Eloni, Conor Orisania. Transfers: Finn Smith (2). Penalty kick goal: Smith.
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