The Junior Springboks currently top Pool C on points difference, as France also earned a bonus point win against Ireland
Junior Springbok assistant coach Bafana Nhleko said his charges sought considerable improvement in their second World Rugby Under-20 Championship pool match against Ireland.
The SA side edged minnows Georgia 33-27 on Wednesday, and will meet Ireland on Sunday at Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de * ’Amitie in Narbonne.
“The most important thing is that we got the result against Georgia,” Nhleko said looking back at Wednesday’s match.
“It was obviously not how we wanted to play, especially the way we started in the first half with the handling errors and some disciplinary issues that might have let us down. But we still left a lot of opportunities out there.
“We created chances, but our decision-making at the best of times didn’t go our way. If we were patient and earned the rewards from our initial efforts, it may have boosted our confidence and changed the game.
“That said, it is something we can learn from going forward.” With Ireland coming off a heart-breaking 26-24 defeat against hosts, France, Nhleko said their performance will be fuelled by desperation, especially with the top team in every pool and the next best-placed team in the competition advancing to the semi-finals.
The Junior Springboks currently top Pool C on points difference, as France also earned a bonus point win against Ireland.
“Ireland will be very desperate,” said Nhleko. “They lost by two points yesterday. But we were not at our best against Georgia either, so we need to make a massive step-up.
“In a sense it is going to be semi-final for one side and a final for the other because every game is important in this tournament. And how a team moves on with a short turnaround means a lot.”
The team went through their recovery procedures yesterday before reviewing the match against Georgia and preparing for the Ireland clash.
They will return to training field today to begin their preparation for Sunday’s encounter.
The SA Under-20s will play their final pool match against France on June 7, also at Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de * ’Amitie in Narbonne. – ANA