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Thu Apr 24 18:41:54 SAST 2014

Baby Boks need a bonus

CRAIG RAY | 12 June, 2012 06:520 Comments
Dawie Theron during the South African U20 National Rugby team training session at Gardens Rugby Club on June 06, 2012 in Cape Town
Image by: Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images

THE Baby Boks won't take any chances in today's vital Junior World Championship clash with England.

South Africa under-20 coach Dawie Theron said he would not order the team to play carefree rugby in today's crucial third Pool B game - a match the Baby Boks need to win with a bonus point to qualify for the semifinals.

"We have always had an approach that is orientated around structure, with a strong emphasis on positional play and territorial gain," Theron said.

The Baby Boks lost their opening match 23-19 to Ireland, but a 52-3 win over Italy in atrocious weather on Friday put their campaign back on track.

The surprise 9-6 win by Wales over New Zealand in Pool A muddied the waters for the Baby Boks. Had Wales lost, South Africa would have needed only to beat England to qualify for the last four.

The winners of the three pools qualify for the semi-finals and the fourth team will qualify via a best loser wild card. New Zealand, who play Fiji, will almost certainly get five points to take them to 11 on the log, so they will qualify as best loser.

If the Boks beat England without a bonus point, they will have 10 points and will not advance if Ireland, as expected, bag a full five points against Italy. In that case Ireland will go through as group winners because they beat South Africa.

"England are a physical side so we know we have to dominate them in that phase of the game first," said vice-captain and centre William Small-Smith.

"We know we have to score four tries; but they don't have to be scored in the first 20 minutes or in the first half. We know if we can break them down physically, one step at a time, we could score tries when needed."

In Pool A, Wales play Samoa and should rack up five points to top the group on 14 points.

In Pool C Australia, France and Argentina can all reach the semifinals. Argentina beat France and Australia to lead the group with eight points. France have six and Australia five.

The Pumas play Scotland while France and Australia meet. Both will hope Scotland upset Argentina to keep alive their chances of qualifying.

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