Theron: ‘Small errors cost us’
5 Jun 2012
Baby Boks head coach Dawie Theron says Ireland did well to capitalise on his team’s mistakes to secure a vital 23-19 victory in Stellenbosch.
It was a nightmare start for the SA U20s.
After all the talk of being prepared and establishing the necessary structures, Theron’s charges buckled under pressure against a well-drilled Irish side.
The Baby Boks faltered at the set pieces for most parts of the game, were hardly clinical on attack, were dominated at the breakdowns and committed too many errors at crucial moments in the opposition’s red zone. Two charged down kicks also gifted Ireland tries against the run of play.
However, Theron stressed that South Africa can still bounce back in their next group fixtures against Italy and England.
‘I’m not looking for any excuses. There aren’t any,’ Theron told keo.co.za. ‘We faced a very well-prepared team in Ireland. We also did certain things well on the night, but small errors cost us.
‘I think we scrummed well and we were still physically good. We did okay in the lineouts, but we lost vital ball on our own feed, which isn’t good enough. Our backline wasn’t bad either – we got the pace and the physcality – we just need to protect the ball better.’
Captain Wiaan Liebenberg expressed his frustration after losing the breakdown battle.
‘I think there were several calls that didn’t go our way. I was frustrated with that, especially with their bodies lying all over the ball,’ said Liebenberg. ‘This loss doesn’t define us. We still want to make the country proud.’
The Baby Boks will have to beat Italy and England to keep their semi-final hopes alive. Heading into their next match against Italy in Bellville on Friday, Theron wants a big win.
‘We want to beat Italy by a big tally, and go into the England game with confidence,’ said Theron. ‘Our hopes aren’t dead yet, and we will do everything we can to keep them alive.’
By Gareth Duncan, in Stellenbosch