The South Africa Under-20 training squad scored a convincing 52-19 win over UCT at a wind-swept Brookside on Saturday to end their training camp on a high note.
Playing into a stiff breeze in the first half, the SA U20’s did well to score three tries on their way to building a halftime lead of 19-12.
With the wind in their favour and their forwards clearly dominating, the SA U20’s scored a further five times – two while flyhalf Robert du Preez was in the sin bin for a dangerous tackle – to run out convincing winners.
The squad also scored a comfortable win over the University of the Western Cape but could not overcome a physical Maties team in their second of three practice matches as part of their preparations for the 2013 Junior World Championship.
Despite the absence of several players because of Springbok Sevens and Vodacom Super Rugby commitments, the SA U20 hopefuls were still too powerful for the Ikeys, who tried to play an expansive game whenever they had possession.
Centre Dries Swanepoel, playing in place of the absent Jan Serfontein, combined well with winger JP Lewis and the duo, alongside big flyhalf Robert du Preez where the pick of the SA U20’s backs. Lanky lock Marvin Orie, who captained the side in all three training matches, was easily the best forward on the field.
Dawie Theron, the SA U20 JWC-winning coach said afterwards he was very pleased with the outcome of the camp.
“The camp and specially the three matches showed us we have a lot of talented players and that it will be hard to choose a final squad. I feel that a lot of players really grabbed their chances against UCT to play them into contention for final squad selection.
“The players responded well after the lost against Maties and I am very pleased with the focus, their application of the game plan and especially the finishing against UCT,” explained Theron.
The players now return to their provinces for Vodacom Cup, Super Rugby and Varsity Cup duty and will most probably get together again sometime in March for another camp.
The SA U20’s tries were scored by Sti Sithole, Tyler Fisher, Jurie van Vuuren, Andrew Beerwinkel, Dries Swanepoel, Roelof Smit, Luan du Bruyn en Johnny Kotze, while Du Preez slotted four conversions and Tim Swiel also two.
UCT’s tries were scored by Dylan Sage, Lihleli Xoli and Ross-Jones Daniels.