Preview: IRB U20 Final
It has been billed as the 'Dream Final' and there is little doubt it will be a cracker when SA host NZ in the IRB Junior World Championships showpiece at Newlands on Friday.
It has been billed as the 'Dream Final' and there is little doubt it will be a cracker when South Africa host New Zealand in the IRB Junior World Championships showpiece at Newlands on Friday.
It has been building up steadily since the tournament started earlier this month, when both teams stumbled in their opening matches - the Bokkies losing to Ireland and the Baby Blacks went down to Wales.
That loss, by the young Kiwis, was their first (and only) defeat since the tournament changed age groups (from Under-19 and Under 21 combined into Under-20) and became the IRB Junior World Championships in 2008.
Now, in the words of NZ coach Rob Penney: "The final can't come quick enough."
The Baby Boks received a timely boost with the return of first-choice, fit-again captain Wiaan Liebenberg - who missed the final pool match against England due to a wrist injury and then came off the bench in the semifinal against Argentina. He replaces Shaun Adendorff, who moves to the bench.
Paul Jordaan and William Small-Smith, who suffered hamstring and knee injuries, respectively, against Argentina, will be replaced by Raymond Rhule on the wing and Kobus van Wyk at outside centre.
Rhule scored two tries in the semifinal win over Argentina after, replacing Jordaan, while Van Wyk will play his first match of the tournament.
According to Liebenberg the South Africans can't wait for the match.
"It is a dream final for us," the Baby Bok captain said.
"Any match between South Africa and New Zealand is always something special and for us to play the defending champions in the final is the best challenge we could have faced.
"We respect New Zealand, but we have committed ourselves as a squad to become the first South African team to win the Junior World Championships. We are not backing down on that."
Theron expressed satisfaction with the team's final preparations.
"We are ready for the final," the coach said, adding: "It will be a massive occasion and a huge honour for the team to contest a final in front of a home crowd.
"We worked very hard to get to this point and we now want to finish the campaign on a winning note."
Theron added that the Baby Boks would have to take their opportunities, should they want to win against a strong New Zealand side. "When it gets to finals you've got to take your opportunities, you've got to limit mistakes, you've got to be very, very aggressive.
"They [the players] have to be focused for 80 minutes.
"The main thing is that you take your opportunities and discipline in defence will be a key factor too."
Kiwi coach, Penney, spoke of the excitement and nerves going into a big final.
"The expectations for the boys - with the Silver Fern on their chest - is really high," Penney said.
"These guys just want to emulate what the other [NZ U20] teams have done in the past [winning the past four finals], so at the moment there are a few sleepless nights and a bit of anxiety... the final can't come quick enough."
He added that playing against the Junior Springboks, the traditional foe of All Black rugby, simply added to the occasion.
"To be able to play at Newlands, against the [Baby] Boks, is a daunting task for the [junior] All Blacks side," the coach said.
"These young boys haven't experienced that before and they are searching deeply for some security.
"If you think about the number of people who have already bought tickets, over 30,000, and the Newlands stadium is just a cauldron .
"Hopefully we've done enough work behind the scenes to prepare them for this."
The New Zealand mentor spoke of two key areas where the final would be won or lost.
"They [South Africa] are a big side and a dynamic side, they have a lot of physicality, so our ability to deal with that is a critical one.
"Our ability to generate some possession and use it intelligently well be key.
"It is going to be a tight game, and our ability to capitalise on any opportunity that fall our way is going to be equally as critical.
"Also our robust defence must nullify their physicality and tough play."
* Of course, there are other matches on Friday as well - with play-offs from playing for third place to twelfth position.
The second biggest match of the day will see the losing semifinalists, Wales and Argentina, go head-to-head in a Newlands curtain raiser.
Wales Under-20 head coach Danny Wilson has urged his team to finish their campaign with a flourish against Argentina on Friday. After claiming a shock 9-6 victory over defending champions New Zealand in the pool stages, Wales were beaten 30-6 by the rejuvenated Baby Blacks in the semifinals at Newlands.
But Wilson insists there is plenty to be proud of from the campaign in South Africa and issued a battle cry ahead of the third-place play-off with the Pumas.
"The scoreline is far from a disgrace against the four-times champions, but the players have stated that they are determined to go out on Friday and win our final match to finish third in the world," said Wilson.
"That is something no other Welsh team has done and we will prepare as well as we have done for every other game in order to do that."
All the matches and available teams for the final day's action (June 22):
(Kick-offs are local time - GMT plus two hours)
Scotland v Samoa
(University of Western Cape - 12.00)
Scotland: 15 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 14 Jamie Farndale, 13 Keith Buchan, 12 Finn Russell, 11 Tom Steven, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Murray McConnell, 8 Mitch Eadie, 7 Will Bordill, 6 Callum Reid, 5 Andrew Redmayne, 4 Gary Graham, 3 Alex Allan, 2 George Turner, 1 Robin Hislop.
Replacements: 16 Struan Cessford, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Gavin Robertson, 19 Andrew Nagle, 20 Stuart Smith, 21 Matt Torrance, 22 Tommy Allan, 23 Michael Crawley.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Sindile Mayende (South Africa), Joey Salmans (South Africa)
TMO: Tappe Henning
Italy v Fiji
(University of Western Cape - 14.15)
Italy: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Alex Morsellino, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Andrea Bettin, 11 David Odiete, 10 John Apperley, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Vittorio Marazzi, 7 Federico Conforti, 6 Jacopo Salvetti, 5 Alessio Zdrilich, 4 Matteo Ferro, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Luca Conti, 1 Giovanni Maistri.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Scalvi, 17 Sami Drissi-Panico, 18 Leonardo Bortoletti, 19 Alfio Mammana, 20 Ruben Riccioli, 21 Guido Calabrese, 22 Giovanni Benvenuti, 23 Alessandro Tartaglia.
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Joey Salmans (South Africa), Sindile Mayende (South Africa)
TMO: Tappe Henning
Ireland v France
(Newlands - 14.15)
Ireland: 15 Peter Nelson, 14 Barry Daly, 13 Stuart Olding, 12 Chris Farrell, 11 Foster Horan, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Jordan Coghlan, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Alan O'Connor, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Niall Scannell (captain), 1 Des Merrey.
Replacements: 16 James Rael, 17 Peter Reilly, 18 Jake Cawley, 19 Shane Buckley, 20 Aaron Conneely, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Mike Sherlock.
Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Rasta Rashivenga (South Africa)
TMO: Clayton Thomas
England v Australia
(University of Western Cape - 16.30)
England: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Sam Hill, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Charlie Walker, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Chris Walker, 6 David Sisi, 5 George Merrick, 4 Dominic Barrow, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Koree Britton, 1 Luke Cowan-Dickie.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Ross Harrison, 19 Ben Nutley, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Tommy Bell.
Australia: 15 Ulupano Seuteni, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Con Foley, 12 Apolosi Latunipulu, 11 Allan Fa'alava'au, 10 Kyle Godwin, 9 Jock Merriman, 8 Benn Melrose, 7 Liam Gill (captain), 6 Curtis Browning, 5 Sam Jeffries, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Oliver Hoskins, 2 Maile Ngauamo, 1 Pettowa Paraka.
Replacements: 16 Silatolu Latu, 17 Leslie Makin, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Steve Cummins, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Alex Northam, 22 Nick Frisby, 23 James Dargaville.
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha (SARU, Danie Fortuin (South Africa)
TMO: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Argentina v Wales
(Newlands - 16.30)
Argentina: 15 Gonzalo Ruiz, 14 Ramiro Finco, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Juan Cappiello, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Sebastián Poet (captain), 9 Rodolfo Ambrosio, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Joaquín Camacho, 5 Juan Cruz Guillemaín, 4 Leandro Ramella, 3 Matías Díaz, 2 Santiago Iglesias, 1 Santiago García Botta.
Replacements: 16 Matías Sambrán, 17 Ramón González, 18 Mariano Sánchez, 19 Ladislao Uriburu, 20 Felipe Ezcurra, 21 Joaquín Paz, 22 Felipe Nougués, 23 Lautaro Casado.
Wales: 15 Ross Jones, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 Dan Baker. 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Luke Hamilton, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Rhodri Hughes, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Kirby Myhill (captain), 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Darran Harris, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 WillGriff John, 19 Ieuan Jones, 20 Daniel Thomas, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Iolo Evans.
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Rasta Rashivenga (South Africa)
TMO: Lyndon Bray
FINAL: South Africa v New Zealand
(Newlands - 18.45)
South Africa: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Kobus van Wyk, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Tshotsho Mbovane, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Vian van der Watt, 8 Fabian Booysen, 7 Pieter Steph du Toit, 6 Wian Liebenberg, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Mark Pretorius, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Oliver Kebble, 19 Braam Steyn, 20 Shaun Adendorff, 21 Abrie Griesel, 22 Tony Jantjies, 23 Travis Ismaiel.
New Zealand: 15 Marty McKenzie, 14 Pita Ahki, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Ope Peleseuma, 11 Milford Keresoma, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall (captain), 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Hugh Blake, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 5 Nick Ross, 4 Joe Latta, 3 Fraser Armstrong, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Ofa Tuungafasi.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Tuki Raimona, 18 Eric Sione, 19 Taniela Manu, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Scott Eade, 22 Ambrose Curtis, 23 Marnus Hanley.
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)