The Junior Springboks managed to put themselves back on track in pool B of the IRB Junior World Championship 2012 with a 52-3 win over Italy after leading 19-3 at the break.
The Junior Springboks scored eight tries, five of them after the break, to set up a possible pool decider with England on Tuesday.
“We had to win well here, not only to give ourselves the chance to stay in the tournament, but also to prove to ourselves that we are the team we believe we can be. There was some great rugby played out there tonight and I am very happy for the effort we got from the players,” Theron said.
“We were really down on ourselves after the opening loss to Ireland and this match was an opportunity to redeem ourselves and give our supporters something to cheer about.”
The Junior Springboks played with a lot of freedom, but Italy resisted well in the first half.
Tries by William Small-Smith (centre), Paul Willemse (lock) and Jan Serfontein (centre) in the first half hour paved the way for a great onslaught in the second half.
A great run by Vian van der Watt (scrumhalf) gave the Junior Boks their bonus point try and with that secured, the tournament hosts attack from all areas of the field.
Four more tries were scored with the last by Pat Howard in the final play, showing the determination of the Junior Springboks.
Serfontein, who scored twice, applauded his pack of forwards.
“They really laid the foundation for us by providing us with a lot of front foot ball. We had a lot of space to run into thanks to them,” Serfontein said.
South Africa 52 (19). Tries: Jan Serfontein (2), Paul Willemse, Braam Steyn, Steven Kitshoff, William Small-Smith, Vian van der Walt, Pat Howard. Conversions: Handrè Pollard (5). Tony Jantjies.
Italy 3 (3). Penalty: John Apperly.