An impressive team performance by the SA Schools side over Argentina highlighted the second round of the SA Rugby Under-18 International Series in Paarl on Tuesday, and left them as the only undefeated side left in the competition, while the SA Schools A team showed good improvement in their draw against Wales. France had their flags lowered by England in a thrilling encounter.
SA Schools outplayed Argentina to the tune of 48-14, while SA Schools A drew 31-31 with France at Paarl Gymnasium. England won 29-25.
This SA Schools result leaves the team unbeaten with Saturday’s last round of matches at Hugenote High School in Wellington remaining. SA Schools A will face Argentina in the opening clash before Wales and France clash, and SA Schools meet England in the final match.
The commanding win of the SA Schools over Argentina was a performance to be proud of and good reward to the hard work put in by the squad, said SA Schools assistant coach, Cobus van Dyk afterwards.
“We are very happy with the effort from the boys,” said Van Dyk.
“They did what we asked them to do and stood up to the challenge. We played rugby in the right areas of the field and that delivered the result we wanted.
Van Dyk applauded the forward pack’s set phase play: “We did very well in the lineouts and our mauls were effective. We worked on that area since Friday, when we played Wales and it came good today. They provided the ideal platform to our backs.”
The backs scored five of the seven tries in the win and Van Dyk feels they exploited the space well.
“The Argentina side were very narrow on defence and we could exploit the space on the outside. Well done to our backline, who saw and execute the spaces out wide,” said Van Dyk.
Earlier, the SA Schools A side and Wales played to an exciting 31-31 draw.
The SA Schools A side showed great improvement after a big defeat against France on Friday and the improvement was due to a better mind-set, according to their assistant coach, Wessel du Plessis.
“We were switched on from the start, especially on defence. We played from the start and did well in the first 20 minutes, the opposite of what happened on Friday. That resulted in a much better performance,” said Du Plessis, who was impressed with the lineouts and mauling from his squad.
“We also played much better percentage rugby and kept the pressure on them. The team worked hard and they deserved a win or a least this draw.”
A summary of results and scorers are:
SA Schools A 31 (17), Wales 31 (24)
SA Schools A – Tries: Teague Loelly (2), Sonwabo Sokoyi, Sibusiso Javu. Conversions: Jacques Rossouw (4). Penalty goal: Rossouw.
Wales – Tries: Jake Morgan, Thomas King, Luke Davies, Mason Grady. Conversions: Thomas Mathews (4). Penalty goal: Mathews.
SA Schools 48 (29), Argentina 14 (7)
SA Schools – Tries: Dylan Alexander (2), Henco van Wyk (2), Jacques Goosen, Gideon van Wyk, Zeilinga Strydom. Conversions: Kian Meadon (5). Penalty: Meadon
Argentina – Tries: Facundo Villabla, Ignacio Ruiz. Conversions: Ramiro Weisberg, Thomas Oria.
England 29 (10), France 25 (13)
England – Tries: Will Trenholm (2), Louis Hillman-Cooper, Will Joseph. Conversions: Charlie Atkinson, Orlando Bailey (2). Penalty: Atkinson.
France – Tries: Mateo Garcia, Killian Tixeront, Wes Lindor, Logan Tabet. Conversion: Garcia. Penalty: Garcia.
The fixtures for Saturday at Hugenote High School in Wellington are:
11h15: SA Schools A vs Argentina
12h50: France vs Wales
14h25: SA Schools vs England