South Africa Under-20 started the defence of their IRB Junior World Championship title with a comprehensive 97-0 victory over the United States on Wednesday at La Roche sur Yon.
Wing Seabelo Senatla scored four times to equal the JWC record for most tries scored by an individual in a single match.
The Junior Springboks lead 54-0 at halftime thanks to nine tries in an action-packed first half.
The defending champions were relentless in their assault on the United States try line. Junior Springbok captain Ruan Steenkamp missed a chance to turn the scoreboard over to 100 points for his team when he lost the ball over the try line during the last movement of the match.
Centre Handré Pollard got the Junior Springbok on the scoreboard with an early penalty but he struggled thereafter with his conversion attempts. Flyhalf Robert du Preez then took over the kicking duties from him.
The South African backs were full of enterprise and dangerous whenever they were running with the ball while the forward laid the platform with some impressive drives and skillful play throughout the entire match.
Replacement fullback Jessie Kriel slotted in well at the back where he took over from Cheslin Kolbe, who was very good with ball in hand. Kolbe scored a try before he was replaced in the second half.
Dawie Theron, the South Africa Under-20 coach, was understandably pleased with his team’s performance.
“It was good to get the first match out of the way. However, I cautioned the guys that this is an extremely tough competition and that we will keep our feet firmly on the ground.
“There are still two tough pools matches waiting for us against England and home team France. Our backs did the job for us but they could only do so because our forwards laid the platform with some really good, hard work up front,” said Theron.
South Africa next play England on Sunday at the same venue. England beat hosts France 30-6.
South Africa Under-20: Tries: Andrew Beerwinkel, Cheslin Kolbe, Seabelo Senatla (4), Ruan Steenkamp, Justin Geduld (2), Jacques du Toit, Jesse Kriel (2), Michael Willemse (2), Luther Obi (2). Conversions: Handré Pollard, Robert du Preez (6). Penalty: Pollard
Ireland 19, Australia 15
Wales 42, Samoa 3
Argentina 44, Scotland 13
New Zealand 59, Fiji 6