Maties teach Baby Boks a lesson

The FNB Maties beat the South African U20 team in a sweltering Stellenbosch, and showed that they will be exceptionally tough to beat this year.

The Baby Boks started the game off very well, and Jan Serfontein made a strong run up the middle of the field, and found his outside-centre, Sylvian Mahuza, who was dragged down inches short of the line. A penalty followed, and then flanker Jacques du Plessis barged his way over the line, with flyhalf Handré Pollard kicking the conversion.

Maties lost inside-centre Louis Jordaan relatively early in the match, but his replacement Hayden de Villiers didn’t let his teammates down. Maties kicked a penalty out and from the subsequent line-out starting driving the Baby Boks back, setting a trend for the afternoon. Hooker Neethling Gericke scored from the maul, and JH Potgieter pushed the conversion just wide.

The two Maties props, Allistair Vermaak and Brendon Pitzer, completely dominated their opponents, and from a scrum they forced a knockout. Maties then scrummed again and after recycling possession well, James Alexander passed to Reniel Hugo, who in turn fed his second-row partner Wilhelm van der Sluys for a score under the posts. Potgieter kicked the conversion and Maties led 12-7 at the end of the first chukka.

The second chukka was a dour affair, with neither team being able to score. Maties scrumhalf Alexander took a knock on his nose, and was replaced by Jean Nel. This sped the game up quite well, as fresh legs tend to do, especially in the scorching heat that the players were subjected to. The highlight of the third chukka was a chip by Hugo, which was nearly gathered by winger Clearance Khumalo.

After sustained pressure on the Baby Boks tryline, the referee awarded a penalty try after the Bokkies were adjudged to have pulled down the maul. Dean Grant, on for Potgieter, kicked the conversion and Maties led 19-7. Khumalo had a few strong runs, and Ryan Nell also caught the eye with his good running from fullback.

Flanker Derick Linde, who had come on as a replacement, then made two turnovers and forced a penalty for Maties. The ball was kicked out, and then Johnny Kotze scored from the following lineout, with Grant keeping the scoreboard ticking with his conversion. Maties were leading 26-7 at this stage, and time was running out for the Baby Boks.

Tim Swiel, playing fullback for the Baby Boks, made a brilliant individual run, beating about four or five would be Matie defenders on his way to the tryline. The conversion was missed by Robert du Preez, and Maties still led comfortable at 26-12.

The final act of the game was when JP Lewis showed his explosive pace to score when the ball was sent wide and he dotted down to add a bit of respect to the scoreboard, with the final whistle blowing after Du Preez had missed the conversion.

Maties now have two good preseason victories under their belt, with last week’s 82-0 victory over UWC also showing the team’s killer instinct. Coach Chris Rossouw will now have the undesirable task of selecting his final squad, but this is most likely to be a labor of love for the Maties man.



The scorers:


For FNB Maties:

Tries: Neethling Gericke. Wilhelm van der Sluys, Penalty try, Johnny Kotze

Cons: JH Potgieter, Dean Grant 2


For SA U20’s:

Tries: Jacques du Plessis, Tim Swiel, JP Lewis

Cons: Handré Pollard 

By Dorfling Terblanche

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