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Joeys edge red-carded Baby Boks

ROUND TWO WRAP: New Zealand raced clear in the inaugural Under-20 Rugby Championship, following another day of monsoon-like conditions on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.

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The Baby Blacks is the only unbeaten team – having beaten Argentina 43-20 on Tuesday, a result that saw them displace Los Pumitas at the top of the tournament standings.

In the late match in Round Two, the Australians beat a South African team – reduced to 14 players for 30 minutes – 24-19.

The Baby Boks played with 14 men for 20 minutes with prop Mbasa Maqubela red-carded midway through the first half for a dangerous clear-out at a ruck.

He was joined in the sin bin by lock Bathobele Hlekani with just under 10 minutes remaining – the South African yellow-carded for a cynical foul, collapsing the maul near his tryline.

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The Baby Boks showed great fighting spirit, but ultimately the cards – through their lack of discipline – cost them dearly.

The first half was a tense affair as both teams threw everything at one another on attack, but a combination of the tenacious defence and the wet ball denied them from capitalising on a few try-scoring chances.

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Australia came out firing in the opening minutes, applying solid pressure on South Africa close to their tryline, but they were held out as the Baby Boks defended with determination.

They also showed good enterprise on attack throughout the half – although handling errors denied them in the opening 30 minutes.

A red card for prop Mbasa Maqubela in the 20th minute for charging into a ruck dangerously didn’t assist their cause, and this paved the way for Australia to open the scoring in the 28th minute with a penalty goal.

Despite being a man down, the SA U20 forced their way close to the tryline and managed to crash over the chalk, but the ball was held up.

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This didn’t stop them from scoring their first points of the match two minutes later from intense pressure by their forwards, and the rewards followed with captain JF van Heerden dotting down the ball for their first try. The conversion by Thurlon Williams pushed them 7-3 up.

This was short-lived though as Shane Wilcox scored for the opposition three minutes later from a maul, and this handed them a 10-7 lead.

The Australians had an opportunity to add an extra three with a penalty goal on the stroke of half-time, but the attempt went wayward, which saw them enter the break with a narrow three-point lead.

With the 20-minute red card in play, the Junior Boks were restored to 15 men in the second half, and this injected a new energy into their attack, but again handling errors again cost both teams in the third quarter as they continued to try to make their presence felt on attack.

SA U20 finally made a breakthrough in the 62nd minute as Litelihle Bester ran a great line on attack and gathered a pass from the base of the ruck and this pushed them into a 14-10 lead.

However, Australia responded almost immediately with Wilcox scoring his second five-pointer to regain the three-point lead.

The Aussie U20 team struck again with eight minutes left on the clock as they were awarded a penalty try after Bathobele Hlekani infringed during a rolling maul close to the tryline, and in the process he received a yellow card – reducing the Baby Boks to 14 men once again, while Australia took a comfortable 24-14 lead.

This did not stop the South Africans from fighting until the end, with Bester gathering a great grubber kick to touch down for the second time.

But unfortunately for Bafana Nhleko’s men the conversion attempt went wide, and despite their continued efforts to sneak through for the victory, they were forced to settle for the disappointing 24-19 defeat.

* In the earlier match – having played through torrential rain in Round One – New Zealand and Argentina took to a dry field to kick off Round Two.

The Kiwis found space down the sideline early and continued to find space thanks to strong carries shrinking the Argentinean defence.

Argentina found pay through their powerful rolling maul, but it wasn’t enough after leaking six tries.

The Baby Blacks are now one more win away from claiming the inaugural Rugby Championship U20 trophy.

All Round Two’s scores and scorers follow below …

 

New Zealand 43-20 Argentina

The scorers

For New Zealand
Tries: O’Donova, Pledger 2, Smith, Wrampling-Alec 2
Cons: Simpson 5
Pen: Simpson

For Argentina
Tries: Torrado, Manuel, Elias
Con: Di
Pen: Fossati

Teams:

New Zealand: 15 Sam Coles, 14 King Maxwell, 13 Xavi Taele, 12 Tofuka Paongo, 11 Frank Vaenuku, 10 Rico Simpson, 9 Dylan Pledger, 8 Malachi Wrampling, 7 Matt Lowe, 6 Andrew Smith, 5 Liam Jack, 4 Cam Christie, 3 Joshua Smith, 2 Vernon Bason (captain), 1 Will Martin.
Replacements: 16 Manumaua Letiu, 17 Sika Pole, 18 Kurene Luamanuvae, 19 Tom Allen, 20 Johnny Lee, 21 Ben O’Donovan, 22 Cooper Grant, 23 Josh Whaanga.

Argentina: 15 Benjamin Elizade, 14 Gregorio Perez Pardo, 13 Tomas Bocco, 12 Tomas Medina, 11 Timoteo Silva, 10 Mateo Fossati, 9 Tomas Di Biase, 8 Juan Pedro Bernasconi, 7 Agustin Sarelli, 6 Julian Rossi, 5 Luciano Asevedo, 4 Efrain Elias (captain), 3 Gael Galvan, 2 Juan Manual Vivas, 1 Estanislao Rodriguez.
Replacements: 16 Marcos Camerlinckx, 17 Diego Correa, 18 Tomas Rapetti, 19 Michael Alejandro Barrios, 20 Ignacio Torrado, 21 Facundo Rodriguez, 22 Santino Di Lucca, 23 Franco Rossetto.

Referee: George Myers
Assistant referees: Griffen Colby, Jeremy Markey
TMO: Brett Cronan

Australia 24-19 South Africa

The scorers

For Australia
Tries: Wilcox 2, Penalty try
Cons: Wilcox, Fowler, penalty try does not require a conversion
Pen: Gray

For South Africa
Tries: Van Heerden, Bester 2
Cons: Williams 2

Red card: Mbasa Maqubela (South Africa, 21 – foul play, dangerous clear-out at ruck)
Yellow card: Bathobele Hlekani (South Africa, 73 – cynical foul, collapsing the maul)

Teams:

Australia: 15 Shane Wilcox, 14 Kauri Tipene-Grace, 13 Frankie Goldsbrough, 12 Ronan Leahy, 11 Angus Staniforth, 10 Cullen Gray, 9 Hwi Sharples, 8 Jack Harley, 7 Dan Sawers, 6 Ben Di Staso, 5 Oliver McRea, 4 Toby Macpherson (captain), 3 Nick Bloomfield, 2 Otavio Tuipulotu, 1 Jack Barrett.
Replacements: 16 Lington Ieli, 17 Bryn Edwards, 18 Tevita Alatini, 19 Harvey Cordukes, 20 Joe Liddy, 21 Doug Philipson, 22 Joey Fowler, 23 David Palu.

South Africa: 15 Michail Damon, 14 Joshua Boulle, 13 Jurenzo Julius, 12 Philip-Albert van Niekerk, 11 Litelihle Bester, 10 Thurlon Williams, 9 Asad Moos, 8 Tiaan Jacobs, 7 Keanu Coetzee, 6 Divan Fuller, 5 JF van Heerden (captain), 4 Bathobele Hlekani, 3 Reno Hirst, 2 Ethan Bester, 1 Mbasa Maqubela.
Replacements: 16 CJ Erasmus, 17 Liyema Ntshanga, 18 Casper Badenhorst, 19 Adam de Waal, 20 Thabang Mphafi, 21 Hassiem Pead, 22 Bruce Sherwood, 23 JC Mars.

Referee: Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nehuen Jauri Rivero (Argentina), James Palmer (Australia)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)

 

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