Junior Boks blow Dream Team away
REPORT: The Junior Springboks put together a devastating second-half display to see off the Varsity Cup Dream Team 50-19, after holding a narrow 21-19 lead at the break.
The Junior Boks struck first in the fourth minute with lock Ruben van Heerden crashing over, following a solid showing by the forwards. Fullback Gianni Lombard converted to take a 7-0 lead.
The Varsity Cup Dream Team fought back strongly with wing Duncan Saal using his pace to work his way through the defence and score their first try, which flyhalf Tinus de Beer converted to level the scores.
The Dream Team built on this with a try by captain Craig Barry in the 22nd minute, and added another four minutes later compliments of lock Loftus Morrison after Junior Boks were reduced to 14-men, as prop Carlu Sadie received a yellow card for infringing at a breakdown. This increased the Dream Team's lead to 19-7.
The lead was short-lived though as an encouraging display by the Junior Bok forwards paved the way for Salmaan Moerat and van Heerden to touch down, edging them 21-19 ahead with Lombard converting both scores.
Flank Muller Uys added his name to the scoresheet immediately after the half-time break when he dotted down in the corner after an attacking scrum. Lombard failed to convert but added a penalty minutes later to hand the Junior Boks a 29-19 lead.
Damian Willemse bagged the Junior Boks' fifth try while the Dream Team were reduced to 14-men, as a result of replacement hooker Johannes Snyman being shown a yellow card. Lombard's conversion stretched the lead to 36-19.
The Junior Boks closed out the match with a further two converted tries through Nama Xaba and Manie Libbok to close out the match.
Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux was satisfied the victory, despite the fast-paced match being evenly poised at the half-time break.
"It was a great test for us and it was good to play against players who have played a number of games this season. Our warm-up matches during the second training camp were against teams that didn't play many games before, so this was an excellent test for our players.
"There were one or two technicalities that we got wrong in our line-outs, which we will work on in the next couple of weeks. I think the work rate of our forwards and our scrummaging were good and we played our rugby in the right areas of the field, which was another positive," Roux said.
For the Junior Springboks:
Tries: van Heerden 2, Moerat, Uys, Willemse, Xaba, Libbok
Cons: Lombard 6
For the Varsity Cup Dream Team:
Tries: Saal, Barry, Morrison
Cons: de Beer 2
Junior Springboks: 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Manie Libbok, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Wandisile Simelane, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Muller Uys, 6 Zain Davids (captain), 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Kwenzo Blose.
Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Wikus Groenewald, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Rewan Kruger, 23 Jean-Luc Cilliers.
Varsity Cup Dream Team: 15 Craig Barry (captain), 14 Sibahle Maxwane, 13 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 12 Impi Visser, 11 Duncan Saal, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Kevin Kaba, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Loftus Morrison, 4 Aston Fortuin, 3 Nico du Plessis, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Replacements: 16 Johannes Snyman, 17 Luvuyo Pupuma, 18 Dillon Roy Bakos, 19 Johan Momsen, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Theo Stapelberg, 23 Aidynn Cupido.