Koen praises Junior Boks' leadership

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 10:58

REACTION: Junior Springboks assistant coach Louis Koen, who also fulfils the role as SA Rugby’s acting High Performance Manager, was pleased with the team's leadership during their win against Georgia.

The SA Under-20 bounced back from a 23-23 draw against U20 Six Nations runners up, France, in their opening match with a bonus-point 38-14 victory against hosts on Sunday.

The Junior Springbok coaching staff reviewed the match on Monday, while the players had a recovery gym session followed by massages, and Koen was pleased following the review.

"It was a very difficult and hostile environment for the players at the stadium, and as a team we had a few soft moments in the first half and we didn’t really get much territory in the match," said Koen.

"But I have to compliment the leadership on the field.

"The players stuck to our processes despite being level at 7-7 with Georgia early in the second quarter and they remained calm. They also used the opportunities that presented themselves, and showed exceptional skill in their backline play.

"We are very proud of the team. The last 10 minutes was particularly special, as the team showed great character on defence, and that shows that we are growing as a team and getting to where we would like to be slowly but surely,"

The Junior Springboks will face Argentina in their final pool match on Thursday, and while Koen expected a challenging clash, he was confident that the Junior Boks had the goods to deliver the desired result.

The top-ranked sides in each of the three pools at the conclusion of the round-robin stages and the highest ranked team outside of the pool winners will advance to the semi-finals, which will be hosted on Tuesday, June 13.

"Looking forward it is good to see that some of the small things we have been working on over the last three months are coming together," said Koen.

"We will continue to focus on those processes going forward and to be more effective at our implementation because we can still improve a lot.

"That said, when it comes to knock-out rugby I believe we are well prepared. We will play against a very good Argentinean side next, but given the way we are growing as a team, we can enter the match with confidence. That said we need to cut out the soft moments and use the chances that present themselves,"   

On the injury front, the team received a clean bill of health, with only a few bumps and bruises after the match against Georgia.

However, flank Zain Davids will appear before a disciplinary committee on Monday following the red card he received shortly before the final whistle.

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
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Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
England U20 3 3 0 0 14
Australia U20 3 2 0 1 10
Wales U20 3 1 0 2 6
Samoa U20 3 1 0 3 1
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand U20 3 3 0 0 15
Scotland U20 3 2 0 1 9
Italy U20 3 1 0 2 6
Ireland U20 3 0 0 3 2
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa U20 3 2 1 0 12
France U20 3 2 1 0 11
Argentina U20 3 1 0 2 6
Georgia U20 3 0 0 3 0