SA Under-20 captain Arno Botha insists that the Baby Boks will be looking to bounce back following their 26-20 defeat against England as they prepare to face Ireland on Wednesday (20h10) in the battle for fifth place at the IRB Junior World Championship.
The South Africans missed out on a semi-final position due to the defeat and an inferior points’ differential to Australia who conceded a 31-25 defeat to France in their third Pool C game played in Treviso.
“There’s been a great fighting spirit in the squad during the last couple of weeks, and while we were disappointed at Saturday’s defeat against England, I believe the players are going to stand up and aim to end this tournament on a high,” said Botha.
“All of us who were involved in Saturday night’s defeat know that we let ourselves down. We let ourselves down, our coaches, management team and South Africa. We know we are capable of much better performances than what we have showed here in Italy. There are two more games left in the tournament, and all we can do for now, is simply to win both those matches.
“Our goals for the tournament naturally have changed, and we now want to ensure that we leave Italy with four wins from five matches.”
The SA Under-20 team for Wednesday’s clash against Ireland will be announced on Tuesday. The Baby Boks secured a 42-26 victory over Ireland during their Pool C clash played in Treviso on Tuesday after they opened their 2011 campaign with a 33-0 win over Scotland in Padova. The South Africans spent the day in picturesque Venice after they completed their post match recovery sessions.
England who defeated South Africa will take on France in the first semi-final played in Wednesday in Treviso while champions New Zealand will continue their title defence against Australia at the same venue.