Baby Boks thrash Italy 52-3
The Baby Boks hit their straps in a 52-3 thrashing of Italy in their second match of the IRB Junior World Championship in Cape Town, on Friday night.
The South Africans led 19-3 at the break and scored three tries in the first half while they added five more in the second half.
The Baby Boks — who suffered a 23-19 defeat at the hands of the Irish in the opening match of the tournament on Monday — did not instil confidence that they could win the tournament.
Their lineouts were, as was the case in the first match, a concern with hooker Jason Thomas at times struggling to find his jumpers.
The Junior Springboks, however, made a breakthrough 15 minutes into the match with outside centre William Small-Smith scoring the first five-pointer.
To the dismay of Baby Bok coach Dawie Theron the youngsters went for the tap-and-go rather than for the three points through a penalty conversion.
This risky move paid off as they created a gap for Small-Smith after a few tight phases.
Five minutes later the Baby Boks once again got over the tryline with big lock Paul Willemse bashing his way over the line after a tap from scrumhalf Vian van der Watt, with the 18-year-old flyhalf Handre Pollard converting.
Inside centre Jan Serfontein joined his midfield partner on the score-sheet when he caught the Italians off guard with a quick tap to score without the Italians even laying a finger on him.
As time ticked over, the game opened up and the Junior Sprinboks relished the opportunity, finding more gaps in Italy’s leaky defence.
Nippy scrumhalf Van der Watt scored the fourth try of the evening in the 52nd minute of the match, with Pollard converting to take the scores to 26-3.
Serfontein, who was the stand-out player of the match, scored his second try seven minutes later as he found the breach with few defenders to stop his piercing run.
This try proved to be the point of no return for the Italians with the South Africans running in another try three minutes later with eighthman Braam Steyn scoring, with Pollard converting to take the score to 40-3.
The Italians, however, did not completely submit as they came back firing to threaten the Baby Boks’ line.
The Baby Boks ran in two more tries in the dying moments of the match with Patrick Howard and Steven Kitshoff adding their names to the list of try scorers.
While the scoreline suggests a convincing victory, the South Africans will have to up the ante when they face England’s Under-20 team in Stellenbosch on Tuesday.
South Africa 40 (19): Tries: William Small-Smith, Paul Willemse, Jan Serfontein (2), Vian van der Watt, Braam Steyn, Steven Kitshoff, Patrick Howard. Conversion: Handre Pollard (5).
Italy 3 (3): Penalty: John Apperley.