The Junior Springboks’ World Championship preparations suffered a setback on Wednesday evening when they lost 34-33 to Argentina in Stellenbosch.
It was a demoralising defeat six weeks from this year’s Junior World Championships in Argentina‚ but also a timely wake-up call for coach Chean Roux and his squad.
The Pumitas have always been tricky opposition and this year‚ as hosts of the showpiece Under-20 event‚ they have built a strong squad.
Poor discipline in the latter stages of the match contributed to the Junior Boks’ loss‚ but they also leaked five tries while managing to score five of their own.
Wing Marnus Potigeter scored a hattrick for SA but a penalty by Argentinean flyhalf Nicolas Roger nudged them through for the one-point win.
“It was a tough game‚ and we produced a substandard performance‚” said Roux.
“But it starts with me as the head coach. I have to look in the mirror and see where we stand and then we will take it from there.”
Roux singled out discipline as one of the biggest lessons learned in the clash and said: “You cannot win a game with poor discipline‚ and that cost us in the end. That is something these players have to learn at a young age.”