Can Pollard sink Baby Blacks again?

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 10:43
Large sa u20 v nz u20 jwc semifin

Junior Springbok captain Handré Pollard will be hoping to continue his unbeaten run against the Baby Blacks when they square off in their semifinal.

Junior Springbok captain Handré Pollard will be hoping to continue his unbeaten run against the Baby Blacks when they square off in their semifinal on Sunday.

The Bulls flyhalf has not lost to the New Zealand Under-20 side in three previous encounters and will play in his third consecutive semifinal after making his Junior World Championship debut in 2012 on home soil in South Africa. In 2012 he won the JWC title as a schoolboy while last year he was in the exciting Junior Boks team that finished third in France.

The South Africans head into the game with something of a psychological advantage having beaten the Baby Blacks in the pool stage last week, and they will have to repeat that this weekend if they are to progress to the final at Eden Park.

The Junior Boks have shrugged off their early tournament injury woes which saw them having four players on the sideline at one stage. They also came through unbeaten after safely navigating tough encounters against Scotland, New Zealand and Samoa. The last match was played in testing conditions, with an ice-cold wind and swirling rain in Pukekohe.

Speaking to media on Friday, Pollard said that the key would be not to get carried away in the hype and focus on what they need to do.

"It it is more of a mental challenge than anything else. There is all the hype, excitement and huge build-up to the match but as a team you need to stay in your system so that you can execute your plan well," he said.

The Junior Bok captain said that the mood in the camp is good, with the players embracing the challenge that New Zealand will present.

"There is a very good mood in our camp. We are excited by the prospects of playing NZ at home again. It will be daunting task but the guys are looking forward to play because this is a vital match and a must win situation," said Pollard.

He added his team has taken a lot of confidence from their pool win over New Zealand, but each player knows it will be much harder come Sunday.

"Our team has a real desire to play in the final and we realise that if we want to achieve that then we must be clinical and take our opportunities. We all know that New Zealand is a side that can punish you severely for making mistakes," added Pollard.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
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