The Baby Boks will be up against the tournament’s other big boys as they prepare for a forward dominated Final in the Junior World Championship.
England cruised to the Final by destroying Ireland in the semifinal with their sizable forwards and impressive set pieces. The monstrous English Under-20s play a game that is not to far from the South African’s one, relying on a good platform to be set by the forwards as they physically dominate their opposition.
The question come Friday will be: which pack can destroy the other enough to swing the game in their favour? The South Africans forwards have impressed throughout the tournament, most evidentially in their two victories against the hosts, New Zealand.
The Baby Boks found themselves behind early in both games only for the forwards to dominate and pummel the Baby Blacks into submission. Baby Bok lock Abongile Nonkontwana has spoken of his team’s plans to match the English strength and take it one step further. “I think England are going to provide the typical forward battle,” Nonkontwana said ahead of the culmination of the JWC.
“We know that their driving is pretty good in the mauling and also their scrum is good. “They have got lots of penalties and tries from their set phases so our forwards will be focusing on destroying them and dominating them with our own forward play.
“It is all going to start with the forwards I must say,” he added. South Africa’s path to the Final has not been an easy one, taking on the hosts twice as well as going up against the Samoans in terrible, wet conditions.
Now that they are here, and the team is fired up, Nonkontwana feels it can only aid them. “Having these tough games through the stages has prepared us well, it has tested us mentally by putting us under pressure so we are used to different scenarios,” he added. “I think we will be able to adapt to what ever comes to us on Friday.”
Clearly the Baby Boks are physically up for the test, and even mentally they have been put to the sword, but for fellow lock Nico Janse van Rensburg the ‘gees’ of the team is something to behold. “I think to play in the Green and Gold is massive for us, we are all very fired up for this final and ready for it,” Janse van Rensburg said with excitement evident in his voice. “Our ‘gees’ is through the roof at the moment, I have never played in such a great team environment.
“This is a real unique group of players – we are in a wonderful place.”