England U18 convert chances to sink SA side

2014-08-25 00:00

STELLENBOSCH — The England U18 team on Saturday handed the SA Schools side their first defeat in four years in the International U18 Series as they secured a 30-22 victory.

The big difference between the teams was England’s ability to convert their point-scoring chances into points, while mistakes at crucial times came at a high price for the hosts.

South Africa’s defeat followed a 40-15 victory against Wales at Outeniqua Park in George and a 28-13 victory against France.

England dominated territory and possession in the first 25 minutes, which forced them onto the front foot early on.

England wing Roti Segan scored the first try in the first 10 minutes after scrumhalf Will Homer spread the ball out wide.

England lock Joe Batley scored their second try two minutes later after another fantastic pass out wide, which allowed them to take advantage of an overlap.

SA Schools fullback, Curwin Bosch reduced the gap to 14-3 with a penalty.

But, England’s impressive attacking play saw them secure their third try of the half a few minutes later after outside centre Max Clarke gathered an effective pass and stretched the lead to 19-3.

SA Schools wing Keanu Vers scored a vital try for the hosts four minutes before half time. With momentum on their side, the ball was spread to the left wing who dived under an England defender to score and reduce the deficit to ­19-8.

In the second half, England won a lineout steal in SA’s red zone, which flank Sam Underhill capitalised on to score their fourth try of the match and a 24-8 lead.

Vers hit back in the 43rd minute with his second try, using his pace to touch down and make the score 24-15.

The try bolstered the home team’s confidence on attack and they worked their way into England’s 22. The visitors’ lock Kieran Treadwell received a yellow card for playing the ball on the ground, but the hosts were unable to take advantage of the extra player.

England flyhalf Rory Jennings added a penalty in the 55th minute to build up a 27-15 lead.

The SA Schools team fought their way back in the last 10 minutes with centre JT Jackson scoring their third try. Bosch converted to reduce the gap to 27-22 with six minutes to go.

However, the visitors added another penalty to take a 30-22 lead.

The hosts had an opportunity to reduce the gap to one point with a late try, but Vers’s pass failed to find the support player.

In the earlier matches the Saru Regional Academy XV beat Italy 48-29 and Wales pipped France 10-9.

SA Schools 22:

Tries - Keanu Vers (2), JT Jackson

Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2); Penalties: Curwin Bosch

England 30:

Tries - Roti Segan, Joe Batley, Max Clarke, Sam Underhill

Conversions: Rory Jennings (2); Penalties: Harry Mallinder.

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