SA 'A' too good for French Barbarians
MATCH REPORT: South Africa 'A' secured back-to-back victories against the French Barbarians with a 48-28 win in at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Friday.
SA 'A' scored six tries on their way to victory in a match where they had to play with 14 men since the 39th minute after lock Ruan Botha picked up a red card.
The French Barbarians also managed to score four tries during the 80 minutes.
South Africa 'A' showed their intent early in the game with fullback Warrick Gelant bursting through the French Barbarians defence to sprint nearly 50 metres for the first try of the game in just the second minute. Fred Zeilinga converted to give his team a 7-0 lead.
However, the home side's lead would not last long after Fabrice Estebanez pounced on a Frédéric Michalak grubber in the SA 'A' 22 to go over for a try. Michalak converted the try to level matters in the sixth minute.
Both teams threw the ball around without too much success for the next quarter of an hour before SA 'A' found a breakthrough when flank Chris Cloete stretched over for a try after some great work by his teammates from an attacking line-out deep inside the Barbarians' 22.
With gaps appearing in both defences it was only a matter of time before there were more tries. However, the next score came via a strong driving maul from visitors. Surprisingly, it was No.11 Lucas Dupont who found himself at the back of the maul to place the ball for the score.
Michalak converted the try and the scores were level at 14-14 going into the final 10 minutes of the first half.
After doing all the hard work to level matters, the Barbarians' defence again let them down out wide when they allowed SA 'A' prop Retshegofaditswe Nche to burst through a gap and sprint a good distance to the tryline to score his team's third try of the match.
Zeilinga again stepped up to convert to make it 21-14 in the 32nd minute.
With that score the SA 'A team seemed to dominate play more before the received a huge blow when lock Botha was red carded in the 39th minute for clattering into an opponent with his shoulder.
However, both teams went into the break with just 14 men after Barbarians replacement Arnaud Mela was yellow carded for a late charge.
Mela's ill-discipline also allowed SA 'A' to extend their lead to 10 points after Zeilinga converted the penalty for three points.
South Africa 'A' started the second half just like they did in the first with an early try.
After some swift passing down the backline, the ball made its way to Cloete who ran in for his second try of the match in the 42nd minute, which Zeilinga converted.
The South Africans were finding it all too easy out wide and 10 minutes after Cloete's try it was Lionel Mapoe who found himself in acres of space after some more good passing to race in for his team's fifth try, which Zeilinga converted again.
Despite the deficit, the Barbarians were not going to lie down and they showed what they are capable of when big No.8 Marco Tauleigne evaded a few defenders near the touchline to score in the corner for the visitors. Michalak converted for a 38-21 scoreline with 24 minutes left on the clock.
After a Zeilinga penalty in the 62nd minute, there was a bit of a lull in the game before both sides crossed the whitewash in the final two minutes with Gelant completing his double.
Man of the match: Chris Cloete scored two tries, but he also gave away a few penalties. Flyhalf Fred Zeilinga was a points machine with his accurate boot. However, the award goes to prop Retshegofaditswe Nche for another passionate display and a memorable try as well.
Moment of the match: Retshegofaditswe Nche's amazing try reminded us of his pace.
Villain of the match: Ruan Botha - it was a stupid shoulder charge.
For South Africa 'A':
Tries: Gelant 2, Cloete 2, Nche, Mapoe
Cons: Zeilinga 5, Vermaak
Pens: Zeilinga 2
For French Barbarians:
Tries: Estebanez, Dupont, Tauleigne, Dupichot
Cons: Michalak 3, Belleau
Red card: Ruan Botha (SA 'A', 39 - foul play, shoulder to the head)
Yellow card: Arnaud Mela (French Barbarians, 40 - foul play, late shoulder charge)
South Africa A: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Francois Venter (captain), 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Uzair Cassiem, 20 Ruan Ackermann, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Juan de Jongh.
French Barbarians: 15 Julien Dumora, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Fabrice Estebanez, 12 Arnaud Mignardi, 11 Lucus Dupont, 10 Frédéric Michalak (captain), 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Antoine Erbani, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Felix Lambey, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Anthony Etrillard, 1 Khatchik Vartanov.
Replacements: 16 Rémi Bonfils, 17 Malik Hamadache, 18 Tommy Raynaud, 19 Arnaud Mela, 20 Anthony Jelonch, 21 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Jean-Baptiste Dubié.
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Lesego Legoete, Jaco Pretorius
TMO: Johan Greeff