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Junior Boks expect fierce reaction from Australia

Posted on Tuesday, 07 May 2024

Junior Boks expect fierce reaction from Australia

The Junior Springboks are targeting an improved performance against Australia when the two teams meet in the second round of the new Under-20 Rugby Championship at the Sunshine Coast Stadium in Bokarina, Queensland in Australia on Tuesday morning (SA time).

Speaking during an online media conference from the team’s base in Twin Waters on the Australian eastern seaboard, Junior Bok assistant coach Lumumba Currie said they have identified several of areas for improvement following their team review of last week’s 13-13 draw against New Zealand U20.

The South Africans pride themselves on their physicality and Currie said they want to to see an improvement from the pack against Australia, who themselves want to show better intent after their loss to Argentina.

“We want our set piece to give us better momentum, to put them under pressure and to convert out opportunities into points,” said Currie. “However, we are not underestimating Australia and we expect a good reaction from them, for which we must be ready.”

Last week’s opening round of matches were played in torrential rain and a strong wind, making it difficult for both sides, especially during the first half.

Currie said similar conditions are expected for Tuesday’s match, and the coaching staff want the group not only to gain experience of playing in such conditions, but also to win.

“The World Rugby U20 Championship will be played in similar conditions in Cape Town so it is important for this group to learn to adopt and play in such weather situations,” he said.

SA U20 head coach Bafana Nhleko made several changes to the starting line-up and according to Currie these changes were part of the team’s planning.

“We have 31 players here in the group, we are building squad depth and want them to gain international experience and to continue their growth as a group,” he said.

“We must also keep in mind we are playing three internationals in 12 days, so managing player load is important.”

Tuesday’s match kick-off at 11h00 (SA time) – right after the first game of the day between New Zealand and Argentina at 09h00 – and will be broadcast live on SuperSport. The Junior Boks finish their campaign on Sunday, when they play Argentina before heading home to South Africa.

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