SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron on Thursday insisted that there were plenty of lessons learnt during his side’s 50-10 defeat against DHL Western Province in Bellville.
The Baby Bok Trialists conceded 10 tries against their Cape opponents who are also currently preparing for the forthcoming Vodacom Cup competition. Flankers Nizaam Carr and Jean Cook were the only try-scorers for the SA Under-20 training squad.
“There’s lots of hard work ahead, but it’s not all negative,” said Theron.
“We wanted to play against bigger opposition and test our depth against a side like DHL Western Province. Our youngsters were up against the likes of JD Moller, Hilton Lobberts, Lionel Cronje, and Shuaib Samaai who has played in many national and international competitions already.
“Our entire squad had an opportunity to show us as coaches and the national selectors today what they are made of. Some guys impressed and others will probably have to work a lot harder if they intend staying in contention for the IRB Junior World Championships.
“We not going to single out any players at this point in time, but I am positive there is enough talent within this squad. The likes of our other age-group players on Super Rugby, Varsity Cup and Vodacom Cup duty will also still play a huge part in our planning going forward.”
DHL Western Province’s 10 tries were scored by Marcel Brache (2), Burton Claasen (2), Micheal van der Spuy (2), Sidney Tobias, Albie de Swart, Tythan Adams and Shuaib Samaai. The Cape side dominated the breakdown and was physically more dominant in the collisions.
However later in the second half, the SA U20 Trialists threatened DHL WP’s try line on numerous occasions but were unable to convert that possession into points. The Baby Boks conceded 21 penalties during the training match and also conceded five tries due to turnovers, while DHL WP also managed to sneak in two interception tries.
“I told our players not to let their heads hang despite the defeat,” added Theron.
“We’ve still got a long road to travel and we can only get better from a game like this. We didn’t expect to beat DHL Western Province by 20 points. We came here to learn lessons of ourselves, and I believe that was achieved here today.”
Scorers: DHL Western Province – Tries: Marcel Brache (2), Burton Claasen (2), Micheal van der Spuy (2), Sidney Tobias, Albie de Swart, Tythan Adams, Shuaib Samaai. SA U20 Trialists – Nizaam Carr, Jean Cook.