The local lads made a bright start in the series
The SA Schools scored three tries to one to record a deserved 17-7 victory over France in their Under-18 International Series in Wellington on Friday.
The teams were level at 7-all at half-time of the tournament that kicked off at at the Hugenote High School.
The South African schoolboys made a bright start against the visitors, who were more experienced after the European Championship in Madrid earlier this year, and took the lead as early as the third minute when livewire right wing, Sergeal Petersen, raced through untouched to score from a clever set-piece move. Flyhalf, Handre Pollard, slotted the easy conversion.
Petersen was a threat throughout with his support play and especially his turn of speed when in possession. Strong inside centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg also had a fine outing and rounded off a good performance for the home team when he scored their third try with just minutes remaining on the clock.
France slowly clawed their way back into the match after they were forced to tackle for much of the first half. Hooker Romain Ruffenach crashed over beneath a heap of bodies following a maul to level matters at the break.
Grey PE flyer Petersen continued his impressive performance in the second half and he was prominent on the attack alongside Janse van Rensburg and left wing Duhan van der Merwe.
Three minutes after the restart burly prop Dayan van der Westhuizen scored the SA Schools’ second try after France hardly had a touch following the kick-off. However, the home team spilled a couple of tries with handling errors but kept the French busy by launching several waves of attacks.
The sturdy Janse van Rensburg got his deserved try with just under two minutes remaining on the clock when he finally managed to breach the overworked French defence to score near the corner.
For SA Schools:
Tries: Petersen, Van der Westhuizen, Janse van Rensburg
For France Under-18:
Con: Le Bourhis
South African Schools: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Sandile Kubeka, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Handré Pollard (vice-captain), 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Jano Venter, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Thabo Mabuza, 5 John-Dave Schickerling, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Pierre Schoeman (captain).
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Abongile Nonkontwana, 20 Daniël du Preez, 21 Akhona Sihunu, 22 Ryno Eksteen, 23 Warrick Gelant.
France: 15 Nicolas Metge, 14 Julien Heriteau, 13 Ivan Roux, 12 François Bouvier, 11 Julien Garde, 10 Yohan Le Bourhis, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 François Cros, 7 Raphaël Molcard (captain), 6 Acrobat Camara, 5 Jean-Baptiste Singer, 4 Felix Lamely, 3 Anthony Crochet, 2 Romain Rautenbach, 1 leg Ishchenko.
Replacements: 16 Loick Jammes, 17 Rémy Chies, 18 Tommy Raynaud, 19 Thomas Jolmes, 20 Jean-Blaise Lespinasse, 21 Anthony Meric, 22 Paulin Riva, 23 Arthur Dentresangle.
Referee: Jaco Kotze (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Daniel Fortuin (South Africa), Roslyn Fortuin (South Africa)
Next fixtures - Tuesday, 14 August at Outeniqua Park (George):
England Under-18 vs France Under-18
SA Schools vs Wales Under-18