The Under 20 Rugby WC after Round 2

Forum » Rugby » The Under 20 Rugby WC after Round 2

Jun 09, 2019, 00:22

The rugby played was much more interesting than what happened this weekend on Super Rugby level sp l;ets see which teams cannot make the play-offs at all:-

Pool  A   -   Wales and Fiji

Pool  B   -   England and Italy

Pool  C   -   Scotland and Georgia

The top Teams in the various pools are -

Pool  A   -    France      =   10 points

                  Argentina  =     6 points

Argentina can make it to the semi but they will have to beat France - which is unlikely to happen

Pool  B   -    Australia   =    10 points

                  Ireland     =       5 points

Ireland is playing Italy in the final round robin game - but they will not only need a bonus point win and win by a margin of more than 30 points  - very unlikely to happen

Pool  C   -    South Africa  =  10 points

                  New Zealand =  10 points

South Africa and New Zealand will play each other in the 3rd round robin game.   They are both on 10 points and the point difference between the two teams are exactly 1 point - 52 points against 51 points.    It is going to be a battle on Wednesday night at 20:30 SA time.   However, irrespective who win the game both teams are likely to be in the semi-final.

We will only know on Wednesday how the semi- finals will end up being.   It is likely that Australia will play the loser between SA and NZ and France the winner.                  

Jun 10, 2019, 03:13

As per normal no interest in the Under 20 WC since nobody on this Board is really interested in looking at future talent but harp on about the elderly players who will cause havoc in the upcoming WC  like they did in 2015

Jun 10, 2019, 04:02

...should start to get more interesting now but middle of the night in NZ when the games are being played so you have to be very keen on rugby to get up...

Ireland unlucky to lose a player to a red card early against OZ from what i saw...but to their credit they held the Aussies til late in the game...

looking forward to NZ vs SA ...looks a lot like watching schoolboy rugby so far but hoping the quality of rugby will improve come the finals....

Jun 10, 2019, 04:28

Seuntjies running gloriously through open fields.....Tokkie's delight.

Jun 10, 2019, 06:38

Mike I have watched a few games SA played. You can't often judge easily which of these under 20 players will go in the senior level unless you are Saffex. 

Do you see any future stars? 

Jun 10, 2019, 09:08


I would rather watch youngsters playing rugby than the elderly you so admire doing zilch during games and then get praised for doing so because hey were on the team sheet.   One has to look at development of players for the future - not at the BS you routinely write on site.

At least some of the players knows how to pass balls and do not kick away balls aimlessly so admired by you. 

Jun 10, 2019, 09:10


Not much to see at present.   There are some loosies to look at for the future and at least one center who may go places in future,   

Jun 10, 2019, 23:39

The Baby Bok flyhalf looks good as does the 12 who played last year.

The 12 is a big tall lad.

JJ vd Mecht at lock is a unit who has played a few games for the Sharks this season off the bench

The blonde openside who played in the last match looked pretty useful.

Jun 11, 2019, 09:21

Dave they were experimenting a bit with the starting players in the first two games, but I think they will play the strongest combination from now onwards.   That openside flank is a real wizard - reminds me in some ways with a new Kwagga Smith.


Jun 11, 2019, 09:21

Dave they were experimenting a bit with the starting players in the first two games, but I think they will play the strongest combination from now onwards.   That openside flank is a real wizard - reminds me in some ways with a new Kwagga Smith.


Jun 11, 2019, 09:24

Why school power doesn’t translate to pros

Brendon Shields

There has been a lot of debate recently about the reasons why the strength of our school’s game in South Africa dissipates once our players turn pro. Some argue that our professional level coaching is not up to scratch. Others reason that the emphasis on winning at the schoolboy level makes it hard for coaches to develop players properly for the professional game.

My opinion is that the mismatches in our school leagues produce players who cannot think strategically or play tactically – something the pro game absolutely demands.

Too many games at school level end up with one team winning by a huge margin, and this is not good for the development of our players.

A bit of field research
As an example I measured 3 random games this week – an Under-13A game, an Under-19A game and a professional game. The score’s in all 3 games were similar, and all matches were fiercely contested with the winning margin an average 3.4 points. So, no mismatches.

Above are the total game events per team (set-pieces, rucks, handles, tackles) that I measured for each team. To better understand the data, we have to divide these game events by the amount of minutes each team played for. The U13s play for 40 minutes, the under 19’s for 70 minutes and the pro’s for 80 minutes. 

As you can clearly see, the pro game is busier. The ball is also in play a lot longer and they contest more set-pieces, tackle more and attend more rucks. They also pass the ball a heck of a lot more.

During the Virseker Beker of 2018, the average passes made by our under 19 teams were 89.3 per game. That’s roughly the amount of times professional teams pass each half!

It’s harder to score
Despite there being more play in a pro game, it is generally harder for teams to score points. In my sample, the 4 school teams all registered a ‘points per platform’ ratio of 0.75. This means that for each opportunity they got, they scored 0.75 points. At pro level, this figure drops down to 0.39 for the 4 teams I studied (Crusaders, Blues, Reds and Chiefs). It’s almost twice as difficult to score points at pro level than it is at schools level. There is less space and every player is a conditioned athlete, so the margins become smaller.

Think on your feet
With smaller margins to work with, coaches and players at pro level develop the ability to strategise and find creative ways of cracking open the defense. Creative thinking is not a luxury, it’s an absolute necessity at pro level. Below I list the amount of attack variation I measured in my samples. These are the amount of times that teams kick to regather the ball, or maul, or play wide to the tramlines – in other words the times they play ‘creatively’.

Despite both schools games being very close affairs, neither team was able to vary their attack because they are not challenged often enough to do so. In contrast, the Crusaders in their game against the Blue’s kicked the ball 26 times in an effort to regain it (grubbers, chips, box kicks etc). Many schools teams I measure would not have that many strategic kicks in a season!

It is also pertinent to note that the U13 game was won after a play involving a fantastic little grubber kick by the 12, gathered by the wing. Makes one wonder why they only tried that move once during the entire game!

So to use this simple example, we cannot get angry at our professional 9’s if their kicking is wonky, because they only really started doing this after school. Even at high-level elite schools, I often count less than 10 kicks all game. Why? Because that variation is not needed to win games. So while a particular school wins most of their games, they are unlikely to develop a 9/10/15 that understands strategic kicking. This also explains why a school level superstar like Curwin Bosch only gets to learn defense when he becomes a pro. It was simply not needed before.

Uneven games mean less endeavour
Players develop micro skills under pressure, as well as decision-making abilities when playing tough games. If your U13 team can win 80% of games by having one speedster or one big kid who can run over the opposition 10, it’s unlikely that any of the 15 in your team will end up great strategists. Similarly if your U19 team scores 50 points by virtue of having a strong pack and one or two good strike runners, you are unlikely to develop a fullback who can field a high kick under pressure – something every good pro 15 must be able to do. 

Basically each time a team faces a poor opponent and wins by 50, their creative development takes a step backwards, and we have far too many of those in SA schools rugby at the moment.

There is nothing wrong with our mindset at schools level to want to win games. It’s how we construct those wins that sits at odds with how players are required to operate at professional level. Pro level rugby, as a direct result of data and video analysis, has become more and more demanding because there are fewer weak links, and nowhere to hide. To win a rugby game you need 15 super-fit athletes with great skill who make few mistakes and who have the ability to strategise and make plans during game play. 

If we can restructure our schools game so that more and more games are evenly matched, our coaches, like their pro counterparts, will be forced to think creatively and develop players who can execute creative play. At the elite level our best schools still play very competitive rugby week in and out, but in many leagues around the country, from U11 to U19 level, you see scores like 60-0, 55-7, 92-17. I think it’s time our unions address this issue because this imbalance now negatively affects our ability to create world-class professional players.

FRESH TAKE is an initiative to identify, feature and develop talented rugby writers who are not yet part of the mainstream media. If that sounds like you, send us a sample of a story you’d like to write to

Brendon is the developer of, a Google-based game-analysis system for schools and club rugby.

Jun 11, 2019, 09:51

Fact is the schoolboys have better ball skills than the pro's.   Meyer was dead honest when he stated publicly that the Springbok backline players do not have the skill set to play a ball-in hand game and the question is why does that happen.

I sincerely believe that the moment the coaches get hold of the school leavers the skills are coached out of players and -

*   aimless and ineffective and repetitive kicking takes over and the way the players kick balls is not part of any strategy - it merely became in 80%  of the kicking  means to hand over possession to opposing teams; and

*   the constant crashballling by the inside  centers and the fact that they do not follow better running lines are a major part of the problem.

There are numerous examples I can quote.   Take for instance Willie le Roux.   He burst onto the scene in  2013 playing for the Cheetahs and did very well for the initial tests under Meyer.  However, he became as flat as a pancake by 2015 and showed nothing befopre going to England where he escaped from the clutches of the SA coaches and came back last year a totally better player.   

Anybody watching some teams playing in the Varsity Cup will see what the problem is with the Professional coaches,   The for instance Robert Du Preez.   He did very well for the Maties when he played for them, and from there got into the Stormers side.   Since then he played for the Sale Sharks and the ZN Sharks,   He was successful in England and a failure for the local Sharks - why should that be?

It is high time that SA gets proper backline coaches and not the monkeys we have had until 2017.                

Jun 11, 2019, 10:38

Our coaches are piss poor. I thought Swys de Bruin was good but clearly he is no good at being a head coach given the Lions performances this year.

This serves to confirm how good a coach Ackerman is. He should be the Bok coach.

Fleck, du Preez, Human and Swys are all poor coaches. Most seem stuck in a time warp playing stampmekaar rugby - they have not evolved

Jun 11, 2019, 20:44

The following team to play the under 20 AB's is as follows:-

15 Vaughen Isaacs (Blue Bulls), 14 Angelo Davids (SA Rugby contracted), 13 Marnus Potgieter (Blue Bulls), 12  Rikus Pretorius (vice-captain – Western Province), 11 Thaakir Abrahams (Sharks), 10 James Mollentze (Free State), 9 Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks), 8 Phendulani Buthelezi (captain – Sharks), 7 Sibusiso Sangweni (Golden Lions), 6 Dylan Richardson (Sharks), 5 Elrigh Louw (Free State), 4 JJ van der Mescht (Sharks), 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye (Golden Lions), 2 Fezokuhle Mbatha (Sharks), 1 Dian Bleuler (Western Province)

Substitutes: 16 Dameon Venter (Golden Lions), 17 Kudzwai Dube (Blue Bulls), 18 Keagan Glade (Golden Lions), 19 Thabiso Mdletshe (Sharks), 20 Jaco Labuschagne (Blue Bulls), 21 Celimpilo Gumede (Sharks), 22 Zwelendaba Mnombo (Western Province), 23 Sanele Nohamba (Sharks), 24 Janko Swanepoel (Blue Bulls), 25 Emile van Heerden (Sharks), 26 Caleb Dingaan (Sharks), 27 David Coetzer (Western Province), 28 David Kriel (Western Province)

You need to Log in to reply.
Back to top