Baby Boks flexing their muscles!
June 18, 2012 in Rugby
What a delightful match to watch last night when the Baby Boks trumped the Pumitas in a 35-3 semi final at Newlands! From the beginning of the match the Baby Boks dominated the game and scored 4 unanswered tries to seal the win.
Paul Jordaan pulled his hamstring as early as the second minute of the game. He tried to battle forth but was just useless without the use of his leg and finally was taken off the field. His replacement, Raymond Rhule, filled Jordaan’s boots with aplomb! He scored two massively impressive tries, running perfect lines off the offload first from scrumhalf Van der Watt and then to schoolboy sensation Handre Pollard, with some defenders left in his wake.
The scrums was massively improved with Kitshoff, Pretorius and van Dyk being solid, although the timing between them and former backline star, Glen Jackson, was off several times, resulting in quite a few free kicks. But the scrums, when succesfully bound, were solid and the Baby Boks were in demand in every encounter.
The lineouts also showed immense improvement from the disasterous first half agaist England. There is still some work to do and to me it seems the greatest issue there is dealing with interfering opposition on the catch to ensure clean ball.
But the win was not without its casualties. As rain seeped down on Newlands, the field became very slippery. As mentioned, PAul Jordaan went off early with what seemed a hamstring injury, and then Talisman captain, William Small-Smith got stretchered off with a knee injury when he bashed his knee into another player when he tried to field the ball on the slippery surface, but he managed to walk a bit to attend the post match interview, so there is hope that he will be ready.
Flank hardman, Shaun Adendorff was once again in the thick of things and seemed to have strained his calve muscle late in the match, but had to finish due to all the replacements being brought on by that time.
It will be a bit of a blow to the Bokkies chances if these three players don’t make it into the final against New Zealand on Friday. New Zealand have won the last 4 tournaments and exude an aura of invincibility. One that was dispelled thank to Wales when they trumped the Baby Blacks 9-6 in their pool match, nearly ending New Zealand’s chances to win the tournament a fifth successive time.
But the Baby Blacks yesterday jumped back with an initial slow start, but then ended up completely dominating Wales by beating them 30-6.
So, the only thing that now stands between the Baby Boks and the Junior World Championship crown, is a very determined Baby Blacks side , a few possible injuries, and the horrid Cape based All Black supporters…so we will most certainly be in for a tough encounter!
The Bokkies have this week to close the gaps in their armory. They still need to get continuity in their lineouts, while their scrums need just a bit of tweaking. The loss, if so, of Small-Smith will be a massive blow, especially if Jordaan is also out with injury, but who is more than able in the nr 13 jumper, but the silver lining is most definitely Raymond Rhule with his eye for and ability to take a gap, while his wing partner, Tshotsho Mbovane was also massively impressive in defense.
I think that Dawie Theron can now feel comfortable with his combinations and just hope that the Baby Boks will pull through with the injuries. Who knows, this year we might just, with hopefully the entire Cape Town behind them, they will win the Championship!