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Stagnation for Junior Boks in soaking conditions

The match was played in very wet and windy conditions, with a heavy downpour before the match creating puddles of water all over the pitch. The swirling wind, which mainly hit the South Africans in the first half, further complicated matters.

The wet conditions made handling difficult and the Junior Boks struggled at breakdowns, but they were very strong in defense and carried the ball strongly. Stuck in their own half for most of the first quarter, the SA U20s only had one attacking opportunity, but were unable to capitalize on it.

New Zealand enjoyed a territorial advantage in the first half, and a half-hour penalty goal from Isaac Hutchison (fullback) were the only points of the half, as the Kiwis went into the sheds with a 3-0 lead.

The game opened up in the second half as New Zealand extended their lead to 8-0 when Stanley Solomon (wing) slotted into the left corner of an attacking scrum in the 50th minute.

Jurenzo Julius looks for spaces against New Zealand.

Jurenzo Julius looks for spaces against New Zealand.

However, the Junior Boks gave up and Tylor Sefoor (fly-half) scored their first goal from a penalty just before the hour mark to make it 8-3.

Moments later the Junior Boks attacked with Joel Leotlela (wing) passing by the posts after great work by Bruce Sherwood (centre) as the SA U20s capitalized on a mistake under a New Zealand kick.

After Sefoor’s conversion and a second penalty goal four minutes later, after a massive scrum, the Junior Boks suddenly took a 13-8 lead, and it could have been more had the SA U20 flyhalf not missed another penalty attempt.

With seven minutes remaining, JF van Heerden (replacement lock) received a yellow card and a few minutes later, New Zealand scored their second try when Frank Vaenuku (wing) went around the right corner, but the wind pushed the conversion deviated make it 13-13, which is how it ended shortly after.

Scorers:

Youth Springboks 13 (0) – Test: Joel Leotlela. Conversion: Tylor Sefoor. Penalty goals: Sefoor (2).

New Zealand U20 13 (3) – Attempts: Stanley Solomon, Frank Vaenuku. Penalty goal: Isaac Hutchison.