Cape Town - The opening day of the SA Rugby Under-18 International
Series delivered some cracking rugby at Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch on
Friday, with the SA Schools, Argentina and France scoring hard-fought wins over
Wales, England and SA Schools A respectively.
The SA Schools team delivered a 23-13 win over the Welsh while Argentina outplayed England 29-19 in their first appearance of the
Series, now in its tenth year.
In the opening match of the series, the French team had too
much attacking prowess for the SA Schools A side, winning 43-19.
SA Schools A coach, Phiwe Nomlomo said their slow start cost
them. “We did not start well at all,” he said. "We possibly took too long
to get into the game and that cost us in the end."
The coach remained positive that they can turn their
fortunes around for their next match against Wales on Tuesday.
"Some things worked well for us. We looked good with
ball in hand, our loose forwards were especially monstrous with ball in hand.
We will try and get them into the game a bit more next time around."
He warned that the team will have to improve their defence
as well: "For sure, defensively we will have to improve a bit, especially
our one-on-one defense and if we do that, we will be a better team
SA Schools coach, Mzwakhe Nkosi, said the second half effort
from his team showed their character.
“There is a lot to take out of this game,” he said. “We won
the big moments and that was important. Our attack was not the greatest. They
did beat us to the breakdown in the first half, but we had a look at that and
improved so much in the second half.”
They now face Argentina: “It is going to be another tough
match,” he said. “We need to take the lessons from this, improve on that and
then take on Argentina with those boxes ticked,” he said.
Summary of results and scorers:
SA Schools A 19 (14), France (31) 43
France – Tries: Leo Barre, Logan Tabet, Jessy
Maizier, Ethan Randale, Eric Boussard, Killian Tixeront, Theo Ntamack-Mayenga.
Conversions: Nolann Le Garrec (4).
SA Schools A – Tries: Indiphile Tyeda, Philip
Masango, Teague Loelly. Conversions: Jordan Hendrikse (2).
Argentina 29 (17), England 19 (7)
Argentina - Tries: Bautista Grenon (lock), Facundo
Villalba (scrumhalf), Bautista Bernasconi (hooker), Justo Piccardo (centre).
Conversions: Julian Hernandez (flyhalf, 3). Penalty: Hernandez.
England - Tries: Louis-Hillman Cooper (centre),
Matthew Ward (wing), Sam Bryan (replacement-flyhalf). Conversions: Orlando
Baily (flyhalf, 2).
SA Schools 23 (6), Wales 13 (10)
SA Schools - Tries: Jurich Claasens, Jan-Hendrik
Wessels, Jarrod Taylor. Conversion: Kian Meadon. Penalties: Meadon (2). Wales - Try: Mason Grady.
Conversion: Thomas Mathews. Penalties: Thomas Mathews (2)