Theron praises comeback kids

Sun, 23 Jun 2013 17:29
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Coach Dawie Theron praised the fighting spirit of his Baby Boks after they scored a thrilling 41-34 comeback victory over New Zealand on Sunday.

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron praised the fighting spirit of his South African Under-20 team after they scored a thrilling 41-34 (21-26) comeback victory over New Zealand to end the IRB Junior World Championship on a high note in Vannes on Sunday.

South Africa rallied from 0-21 down after half an hour to eventually outplay four-time champions New Zealand before an enthusiastic and capacity crowd.

After claiming their first tournament title in Newlands last year, they had to settle for the bronze medal this time around after suffering a heartbreak 17-18 against Wales in the semifinals.

Speaking to the media afterwards, Theron said technical mistakes in the opening spell of the first half led to three early tries by New Zealand.

“We were a bit shell-shocked in the beginning of the first half and although we made a good start with a great scrum, we conceded three tries because of our own mistakes.

“I must admit I was very nervous at that stage, but the players kept going and eventually the momentum turned our way,” said Theron.

During half-time he told the players to keep the pressure on the New Zealand pack and to make their tackles count in midfield.

“The boys displayed that typical South African fighting spirit, even when New Zealand threatened to come back near the end. For us, this was such a vital match to win because of the manner in which we lost our semifinal. This was a great contest against a very good New Zealand team, and I am so proud of the boys.

“Yes, we did not play in the Final, but we did manage to beat England, the current Six Nations champions, against France in front of their own supporters and got the better of New Zealand today,” explained Theron.

A delighted Junior Springbok skipper Ruan Steenkamp said his advice to his retreating team mates early on the first half was to keep believing in themselves.

“We made a terrible start and paid the price for some silly errors. But I told the guys to keep the focus and to up our intensity especially amongst the forwards. I am very glad we managed to do that because were then able to force New Zealand to make some tackles.

“We managed to get some pride back and we will enjoy a good over a tough opponent. Any win is great against New Zealand and I am just so happy that we could manage to pull ourselves together and end the tournament on a high note,” said Steenkamp.

He was also full of praise for the outstanding crowd support.

“It was so good to win in front of such an enthusiastic crowd. They appreciated the efforts of both teams and the players came off the field with a great feeling.”

The team will arrive on Tuesday morning in South Africa.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 17h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
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