Junior Boks thump Georgia at World Champs
Flank Dylan Richardson starred as the Junior Boks fought their way to a 48-20 (halftime 21-8) win over a tough Georgia at the U20 World Championships in Rosario on Saturday.
The dynamic blonde flank, who gave a passable impression of Schalk Burger, scored a hattrick in a match where the Junior Boks were their own worst enemies at times.
But eight tries to three tells a story of dominance as the side visibly grew in confidence as the match wore on.
Numerous handling errors and two yellow cards, for wing Vaughan Isaacs and lock Emile van Heerden, made life difficult for SA at times. But composure and some individual brilliance as well as a positive contribution from the bench won the day.
The Junior Boks have secured 10 points from their opening two Pool matches and have set themselves up well for Wednesday’s big clash against New Zealand that should decide the group.
Richardson was dynamic as a ball carrier and in contact, while SA bossed the breakdowns as well, especially as the match wore on.
But it took two tries in the five minutes before halftime for the Junior Boks to finally break the game open after a rugged period in which the abrasive Georgians revelled.
Two close range tries from prop Asenathi Ntlabakhanye and Richardson, which added to the flank’s own earlier try, gave SA a 21-5 lead at the break.
But until their second try it was Georgia who enjoyed the most of a scrappy match. SA’s seven handling errors provided the type of game Georgia wanted – one that went from set piece to set piece.
The Caucasian’s scrum dominated while their strength in close contact caused problems.
Wing Otar Lashki scored Georgia’s sole first half try, which was the end product of a long period of sustained pressure on the SA line midway through the half.
A yellow card against fullback Isaacs, for a tip tackle in the 28th minute, further compounded SA’s problems with the match in the balance.
But SA handled the period well, finally finding some field position and keeping Georgia buried in their half, which created the opportunities for those two tries before halftime.
After the break, the introduction of scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba lifted SA’s tempo and allowed them to start imposing their game on Georgia. The quick ball SA produced from rucks, stressed the Georgian defence and it was centre Rikus Pretorius who scored the bonus point try after a deft pass from Richardson.
Van Heerden was sent to the bin, rather harshly, for a late tackle, and despite a second try for Lashki, SA struck back through wing Thaakir Abrahams to reassert their dominance.
Richardson completed his hattrick with another strong carry close to the line to cap a fine performance and a confidence-boosting win for SA.
South Africa – Tries: Dylan Richardson (3), Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Rikus Pretorius, Thaakir Abrahams, Angelo Davids. Conversions: Jaden Hendrikse (3), Sanele Mohamba.
Georgia – Tries: Otar Lashki (2), Teimuraz, Tchitchinadze. Conversions: Tedo Abzhandadze