Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux said his team will take the lessons learned from their U20 International Series clash against Georgia on Tuesday despite walking away with a 58-10 victory at Paarl Gymnasium.
A four-try brace by Junior Springbok No8 and captain, Francke Horn, sparked an eight-try romp against their World Rugby U20 Championship pool opponents, although the team was tested thoroughly by the physical Georgian forwards.
“It was a difficult game and we couldn’t get rhythm,” said Roux. “They slowed things down and we knew that we needed to speed it up. They also had a powerful scrum, although we expected that.
“These players are young and it was a good learning curve for them. That said, we are satisfied with the win.”
Roux was particularly pleased with their defence, as the only points scored against them was a penalty try and a penalty goal.
“We have been working very hard on our defence, and have tried to adopt some of the Springbok principles, so I am very pleased with that aspect,” said the coach. “It was certainly one of the highlights of the game for me.”
With matches against the Namibia XV and the Argentina U20’s ahead, Roux had no doubt that this match exposed the players to what lies ahead, and said: “They certainly will know what to expect. It was good that we were tested in the scrums and close to the tryline in the second half, and I think we will learn valuable lessons from that.”
Horn stunned the Georgians in the opening exchanges of the match as he earned a hat-trick in the first 26 minutes to add to an early penalty goal by flyhalf David Coetzer. The visitors, in turn, could only reply with a penalty goal by their skipper Tedo Abzhandadze.
Horn showed his array of skills to score from a charge-down, pick-and-go and then a solid run out wide respectively.
Georgia were awarded a penalty try four minutes later, which allowed them to reduce the deficit on the scoreboard to 22-10, but Coetzer extended it again as he slotted over his second penalty goal.
The Junior Springboks stretched their lead to 32-10 on the stroke of halftime thanks to a stunning line break by Coetzer, who also added the conversion.
The home side built on this 11 minutes into the second half as Janko Swanepoel crossed the chalk from a pick-and-go.
Georgia managed to work their way close to the Junior Springboks’ tryline a few times as the half progressed, but the defence stood their ground, which denied the visitors from adding to their score.
Horn showed his magic touch once again as he made another break to touch down for the fourth time and Caleb Dingaan and James Mollentze added another two in quick succession to inflate their score to 58-10, which proved to be the final score.
In the other match, the Argentina U20’s registered a comprehensive 62-8 victory against the Namibia XV as their forwards laid a solid foundation up front, while their backs ran hard on attack.
Junior Springboks 58 (32) – Tries: Francke Horne (4), David Coetzer, Janko Swanepoel, Caleb Dingaan, James Mollentze. Conversions: David Coetzer (6). Penalty Goals: David Coetzer (2).
Georgia 10 (10) – Try: Penalty Try. Penalty Goal: Tedo Abzhandadze.