Cape Town – SA Under-20 coach Eric Sauls on Saturday named the same starting 15 that defeated Tonga 40-14 in their first Pool C match in the 2010 IRB Junior World Championship for their crucial clash against Australia in Sante Fe on Sunday.
The Baby Boks need to secure a victory tomorrow to guarantee themselves a place in their third consecutive Cup semi-final. The South Africans recorded a 73-0 victory over Scotland on Wednesday.
The team selected for Sunday’s game features the return of Springbok Sevens winger Sampie Mastriet, Auto & General Lions centre Jaco Taute and Vodacom Free State Cheetahs flanker Fanie van der Walt. The three players are in the side in place of Branco du Preez (centre), Mlungisi Bali (flank) and Sibusiso Sithole (wing). Du Preez and Bali will warm the bench for the Baby Boks, while Sithole drops out of the match 22.
Sauls has opted for a 5-2 split with his bench players and has selected an entire front row combination in his seven reserves. Props Ruan Dreyer and Wessel du Rand who enjoyed solid performances off the bench during the SA Under-20s’ emphatic victory over Scotland, and hooker Francois du Toit are likely to be used as impact players during the course of the game.
Mastriet will join the exciting back three combination of Patrick Lambie and Wandile Mjekevu. Taute will unite with centre Francois Venter in the midfield while Van der Walt returns to the loose-forward trio which includes SA Under-20 captain CJ Stander and Siyamthanda Kolisi.
“We’ve had a relatively good build up to the Australian game and the players are focused in terms of what is expected of them,” said Sauls.
“Like any other World Championship game, we are treating this match as a must win game in order for us to confirm ourselves as a semi-final contender. But we know Australia are in the same position. They will also be aiming to bag a win on Sunday and secure a semi-final spot. So it’s going to be a close and tough game between two the two southern hemisphere nations.”
Patrick Lambie, Sampie Mastriet, Jaco Taute, Francois Venter, Wandile Mjekevu, Elton Jantjies, Louis Schreuder, CJ Stander (c), Fanie van der Walt, Siya Kolisi, Sebastian de Chaves, Kenny Okafor, Marcel van der Merwe, Monde Hadebe, Brummer Badenhorst.
Substitutes: Francois du Toit, Ruan Dreyer, Wessel du Rand, Mlungisi Bali, Lubabalo Mtembu, Branco du Preez, Nico Scheepers.
[Info from Sport24.com]