Cape Town - The SA Schools and SA Schools 'A' teams on Friday started the
Under-18 International Series on a high note at the City Park Stadium in
Crawford, Cape Town, as they registered encouraging victories against Wales and
Italy to make their presence felt early on.
The SA Schools team delivered a solid performance on attack
and defence against Wales for a 42-11 victory, while the SA Schools 'A' side
overcame a closely-fought first half against Italy for 29-14 win.
In the other clash England defeated France 15-7.
The teams will battle it out in the second round in George
on Tuesday before returning to the City Park Stadium on Saturday, August 15 for
the closing round of the Series.
The first half between the SA Schools team and Wales was
tense as both teams used their forwards and backs effectively.
The hosts opened
up the scoring in the sixth minute with a penalty by flyhalf Curwin
Bosch, but the visitors levelled the scores minutes later with a penalty by
flyhalf Billy McBryde.
While the SA Schools opted to retain possession on
attack and apply pressure, Wales tried to pin them in their own half through
With both defensive systems holding well, however, the first
half was dominated by penalties.
Bosch added his second penalty in the 26th
minute to edge his team into the lead, but this was again cancelled out soon
after as McBryde slotted over another.
The hosts, however, finally broke through
the Welsh defence in the 31st minute with a try by scrumhalf Embrose
Papier, who picked up the ball from a ruck and dived over the chalk following a
series of pick-and-goes.
The successful conversion pushed the SA Schools 13-6
ahead on the scoreboard. Bosch had a golden opportunity to inflate the score
with another try on the stroke of half-time, but he stepped into touch en route
to the tryline following a stunning line break in the middle of the field.
The SA Schools team came out firing in the second half and
signalled their intentions in the first minute with a fantastic try by centre
Stedman Gans to stretch their lead to 18-6.
Gans added another try in the 44th
minute after receiving a pass following a poor chip kick by Wales, while hooker
Johan Grobbelaar crossed the line for their third try soon after from a
charge-down, to stretch the lead to 32-6.
Unfortunately for Wales their hopes
of clawing their way back into the match in the closing minutes were dashed as
fullback Rhun Williams received a red card for a dangerous tackle.
the way for Bosch to add a penalty, while lock Ruben de Villiers scored the SA
Schools team’s fifth try to increase their score to 42-6.
Wales fought back
with a try the last minute to reduce the deficit to 42-11, but this was merely
a consolation after struggling to make their presence felt in the match.
Tries: Embrose Papier, Johan Grobbelaar, Ruben
de Villiers, Stedman Gans (2)
Conversions: Curwin Bosch (4)
Try: Kieran Williams
Penalties: Billy McBryde (2)
The SA Schools 'A' team opened up the scoring in their clash
against Italy with a penalty in what was a tightly-fought first quarter.
teams took a few minutes to find their rhythm on attack early on, but as the
game progressed they made better use of their point-scoring chances.
did well to retain possession in the first half and they supported this with a
solid defensive effort, but an intercept try by Italy centre Andrea Bronzili in
the 22nd minute allowed them to score the first try of the match.
return, SA Schools 'A' flyhalf Bader Pretorius slotted over two penalty kicks in
the second quarter to hand his team a narrow 9-7 lead at the break.
Pretorius increased the hosts lead to 12-7 shortly into the
second half with another penalty, but Italy hit back with their second try of
the match compliments of a strong shove by their forwards, which pushed them
This, however, sparked the fighting spirit in the SA Schools 'A'
side, as they bounced back with tries by wing Ryan Muller and Zain Davids,
while replacement flyhalf Eddie Fouche slotted over a long-range penalty
minutes before the final whistle to seal an encouraging 29-14 victory.
SA Schools 'A'
Tries: Ryan Muller, Zain Davids
Bader Pretorius, Eddie Fouche
Penalties: Pretorius (4), Fouche
Bronzini, Giordano Baldino
Conversions: Roberto Dal Zilio (2)