Roux 'encouraged' by Baby Boks
REACTION: Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux was pleased with his team's first hit-out in the lead-up to the World Rugby Under-20 Championship.
The Baby Boks defeated the Griffons 24-20 in the sweltering heat in Welkom.
The hosts opened up the scoring, but found themselves under pressure as the Junior Boks broke away on the scoreboard with four tries.
The Griffons staged a brave comeback, but still went down 20-24.
"For our first game, I am very happy with the performance," said Roux.
"We certainly saw what we wanted to see. Some of the players put up their hands, which was encouraging, and our commitment on defence was pleasing at times.
"Obviously there were mistakes, but it was the first competitive game that we played. In general, however, it was a good performance on what was a hot afternoon."
Roux, however, said there was hard work ahead to reach the standard of play he would like to see his team display in Georgia.
"We haven't worked much on our first phases, so there is a lot of work to be done in our line-outs, scrums and at the breakdowns, which is one of the pillars of our game," said Roux. "So those are the main areas we have to work on this week."
Griffons flank Jean Pretorius scored the first try of the match, which flyhalf Juan Kotze converted. Kotze followed this up with a penalty goal minutes later to take a 10-0 lead.
The Junior Springboks, however, found their rhythm soon after and struck back with two tries by hooker Daniel Jooste from rolling mauls.
Centre Wayne van der Bank scored the team's third try seven minutes before half-time after gathering a pop pass by fullback Gianni Lombard for a 17-10 lead, which they managed to maintain going into the break.
The Junior Boks picked up where they left off in the second half with winger Mfundo Ndhlovu touching down the team's fourth try after two minutes in thanks to a fantastic break by replacement centre Cornel Smit. This pushed the team 24-10 ahead.
The Griffons, however, fought back strongly by applying pressure on attack, and their efforts paid off with centre Duan Pretorius crossing the line to reduce the gap to 24-15.
Replacement wing Calvano King added another try for the hosts in the dying minutes to reduce the gap on the scoreboard to four points, but the team managed to sustain the pressure applied by the Griffons to secure the 24-20 victory.
For the Junior Springboks:
Tries: Jooste 2, Van der Bank, Ndhlovu
Cons: Janse van Rensburg 2
For the Griffons:
Tries: Jean Pretorius, Duan Pretorius, Calvano King.
Cons: Juan Kotze 2
Pen: Juan Kotze
Junior Springboks: 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Mfundo Ndhlovu, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Ilunga Mukendi, 10 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Francois de Villiers, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Hendre Stassen, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Salmaan Moerat, 4 Ewan Coetzee, 3 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 2 Daniel Jooste, 1 Boan Venter.
Replacments: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Muller Uys, 20 Marnus van der Merwe, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Jean-Luc Cilliers, 23 Cornel Smit
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Local