SA schoolboys nail Namibia

SA Schools thrashed a Namibia U19 team 92-21 at the Raiders Rugby Club ground in Johannesburg on Saturday.

They scored 14 tries in the process, with four of them coming from speedy Boland winger Leroy Bitterhout and two from Grey College and Free State flyhalf Johan Goosen, who also slotted nine conversions, for a personal tally of 28 points.

The game was a mismatch in all departments and it was only some undisciplined play on the part of the SA Schools side – they had players in the sin bin on two occasions – which allowed the Namibians to get three tries of their own, two of them late in the game when replacement lock Schalk van Heerden was yellow-carded.

Earlier lock Ruan Venter, who is gaining a bit of a reputation as a dirty player, was sent off for 10 minutes after throwing a punch.

The SA Schools side sensed early on that the opposition was not up to scratch and they spread the ball wide at every opportunity, which made for an entertaining spectacle.

The tries came thick and fast and they raced to 42-0 lead in the first half before Namibia got their first points on the board – a try by Ranthony Bekker, converted by Daniel Bock.

That made it 42-7 at the break and the schoolboys carried on where they left off in the second half, scoring tries at regular intervals.

The other SA Schools try-scorers were wing JP Lewis, centres William Small-Smith and Andile Jho, No 8 Nardus van der Walt, scrumhalf Poerie van Rooyen, and replacements Tshotsho Mbovane (centre), Paul Jordaan (fullback), Kevin Luiters (scrumhalf) and Anrich Bitzi (hooker). Jordaan also kicked two conversions.

The other Namibian try-scorers were lock Nico de Jager and centre Jurie Loois. Fullback Daniel Bock converted two of the tries and winger Chase Diergaardt one.

National selectors Peter Jooste and Ian McIntosh were at the game and they will have jotted down a few names. Goosen is an obvious one, as are Small-Smith and Jho, and Venter, if he can control his temper.

Bitterhout and his fellow winger JP Lewis are both lighting fast and elusive, but on the small side. One fancies that Paul Treu will have his eye on them for a possible role in the sevens set-up in the years to come.

By Gauteng correspondent