Solid as a Bok

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 12:41
Large baby boks anthem630 Large baby boks celebrate3 630 Large baby boks celebrate1 n630

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron believes the key to his team's World Championship victory was the way they hardened up under pressure.

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron believes the key to his team's World Championship victory was the way they hardened up under pressure.

Theron was given unprecedented backing by SARU to ensure that his team performed well on home soil, so when they lost their opening game against Ireland with a feeble display in the set-pieces the pressure was on as they were fighting to stay in the tournament.

They responded by improving in every game after that, culminating in a victory over the defending champions on the back of a convincing set-piece performance in front of a packed crowd of 35 000 at Newlands, becoming the first team other than New Zealand to win the title.

Theron said that the key to the turnaround was how the team had drawn together under pressure.

"Words can't describe the feeling. One can see what winning this title meant to the guys, especially after that Ireland loss in our first game when they were burdened with the weight of the nation's expectations on their shoulders.

"Under pressure two things can happen either you scatter apart, or the heat of the moment causes you to gel and you become like a rock and that's what happened," he said.

The former Bok prop said that the victory is his best achievement in the game.

"It's unbelievable. It's the best rugby experience of my life and I've played for the Springboks in 30 Tests but this is very special," he said.

Theron said that the final had been a typical battle between the two nations who both play with uncompromising physicality, and added that the victory and the support for the team indicates a bright future for Springbok rugby.

"It was a wonderful show of typical SA, New Zealand rivalry, and in the first half all the big hits came from them. Our guys came out in the second half and really stood up to the physical contest and there were big hits coming in from our side.

"It was tremendous to see how the guys responded. I can imagine that if these guys stay together, as well as those who couldn't play because of injury, there will be a special era of Springbok rugby ahead.

"The crowd must have been over 35,000 and judging by their support one can say Springbok rugby is alive," he said.

The junior Bok boss was particularly pleased with his team's driving play, which forced the dangerous Baby Blacks onto the back foot.

"Our driving play was exceptional and forced New Zealand to concede penalties. That kept us in the game and gave us a lot of energy. It was a matter of converting the pressure into points and we did that with two great tries in the second half," he said.

It was a first tournament win and final for the Junior Boks in the current age group format and it was fitting that it was achieved on home soil and in front of passionate South African fans, Theron said.

"I said from the start that this was positive pressure. The support from the public was unbelievable and the knowledge that Newlands was sold out was enough motivation for our players not to disappoint," he said.

Rebels vs Waratahs
sast: 10h45 | local: 19h45

  • 25 | 18
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 March 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 19h05 Parc y Scarlets
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Ulster 19h35 Rodney Parade
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Blues 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Gloucester 15h00 Ashton Gate
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
UNDER-20 WORLD CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland U20 3 3 0 0 13
New Zealand U20 3 2 0 1 10
Wales U20 3 1 0 2 7
Georgia U20 3 0 0 3 1
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
England U20 3 3 0 0 14
Scotland U20 3 2 0 1 9
Australia U20 3 1 0 2 7
Italy U20 3 0 0 3 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina U20 3 3 0 0 13
South Africa U20 3 2 0 1 11
France U20 3 1 0 2 6
Japan U20 3 0 0 3 0