Wales too good for SA Schools
Fri, 11 Aug 2017 17:31
REPORT: There was only a two points' difference at the end, South Africa had scored three tries to two, but Wales deserved this win.
Wales were more cohesive, their tackling was better, they won the turnovers, they ran better lines, their passing was far better and so their catching was better, and they made no self-destructive kicks.
Chwarae teg, as the Welsh say, fair play now, the younger South Africans had had only four days to prepare, coming as they did from several provinces and schools. But surely that does not excuse passing that was high, long and towards the catcher's back. Not good on late afternoon in Stellenbosch with a mean wind blowing,
Wales had first use of the wind and ended the half leading 19-5. One try apiece but 19-5 because of the wonderful goal-kicking by Cai Evans, the Welsh flyhalf who seemed to have no problem with the ugly wind as he goaled four penalties and a conversion in the half.
Wales attacked from the half. They kicked off, South Africa dropped the ball and Wales ran with it. They went wide left, wide right ands wide left again. When they lost the ball, the advantage was soon over and No.8, Lennon Greggains, took an inside pass and swept over for the try, which Evans converted. 7-0 after 2 minutes.
South Africa kicked off and Wales ran again. Vian Fourie was penalised at a tackle. 10-0 after five minutes.
Wales were penalised several times. They kicked out and formed a maul. Their mauling was much stronger than Wales could muster in defence but, time and again, the maul fell down - suspiciously - close to the Welsh line. The South Africans bashed time an d again but the Men of Harlech repulsed them time and again.
In Muller du Plessis and Andrew Kota, South Africa had two dangerous wings who rarely got the ball and yet when South Africa went wide they produced two of their three tries.
A third penalty in their favour gave South Africa a line-out on their right. They mauled and then went wide left where Kennedy Mpeku, with a man outside of him, had an overlap and raced over to score. 10-5 after 10 minutes. They did not score again in the 25 minutes remaining in the half, but Wales did.
In fact the South Africans dominated much of the half, having a bigger share of possession and territory. They even got close through their bashing and prop Keagan Glade was actually over but, as the TMO confirmed, he lost the ball in doing so.
Then Evans kicked a penalty goal.
Harri Morgan, a splendid scrumhalf, went on a long fast run down the midfield.
Then Evans kicked a penalty goal.
South Africa overthrew a line-out. Welsh hooker William Griffiths grabbed the ball and ran at the line with great determination. Daniel Davis took it on.
Then Evans kicked a penalty goal, and half-time broke with Wales leading 19-5.
South Africa had the second-half wind. Christopher Schreuder and Diego Appollis combined to set Appollis running straight threw a gap but Sanele Nohamba dropped a pass which could well have yielded a try,
But Schreuder kicked two penalty goals and after 10 minutes in the half, the score was 19-11 and hope was springing in South African breasts.
From a scrum, South Africa went right, left, right.
Then Schreuder kicked a penalty goal and it was 19-14 with 22 minutes to play.
Then Evans kicked a penalty goal. 22-14.
Then Dylan Richardson, just on the field, infringed at a tackle and was sent to the sin bin. While he was away, Wales set about winning the match.
South Africa's first-time tackling collapsed as Wales counterattacked off a kick downfield that had no meaning to it. Ben Thomas broke and gave to Griffiths who gave to Joseph Miles who was stopped right at the line. Wales were given a five-metre scrum. it was a seven-man scrum because of Richardson's absence and Wales had Greggains out on the left. Morgan gave to him and the No.8 ran through Nohamba and scored.
Evans did not convert.
But Wales now led 27-14 with 13 minutes to play.
Then Evans goaled a penalty kick. 30-14.
Two penalties gave South Africa two attacking line-outs. They mauled each of them and from the second, after trying so often, they scored a try through tough Mark Snyman. Nohamba kicked the conversion. 30-21 with three minutes to play.
Back came South Africa and there was Muller du Plessis, so fast, so skilled, racing down the left touchline. He lobbed inside to Morné Brandon who swept over gleefully for the try. Nohamba converted with a dropped goal. 30-28 with a minutes left.
Wales eventually kicked off and South Africa ran and ran - and ignored Du Plessis open on the left. The ball was lost, Wales won the scrum and Morgan kicked into touch for an outburst of druidic glee.
In 2016, SA Schools were unbeaten. This performance suggests that they could be at the other end of the scale this year - winless.
Tries: Lennon Greggains 2
Cons: Cai Evans
Pens: Cai Evans 6
For South Africa:
Tries: Kennedy Mpeku, Mark Snyman, Morné Brandon
Cons: Sanele Nohamba 2
Pens: Christopher Schreuder 3
South Africa: 15 Kennedy Mpeku, 14 Andrew Kota, 13 Diego Appollis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Muller du Plessis, 10 Christopher Schreuder, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Travis Gordon (captain), 7 Phendulani Buthelezi, 6 Vian Fourie, 5 Kwagga van Niekerk, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Keagan Glade, 2 Ru-Hann Greyling, 1 Nkosikhona Masuku
Replacements: 16 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 17 Jordan Clarke, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Celimpilo Gumede, 20 Adrian Alberts, 21 Mark Snyman, 22 Dylan Richardson, 23 Henco Martins, 24 Jaden Hendrikse, 25 Yanga Hlalu, 26 Conan Le Fleur, 27 Morné Brandon, 28 Banele Mthenjane
Wales: 15 Dylan Moss, 14 Tomi Lewis, 13 Tom Hoppe, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Dewi Cross, 10 Cai Evans, 9 Harri Morgan, 8 Len Greggains, 7 Daniel Davis, 6 Tommy Raffell (captain), 5 Morgan Jones, 4 Joe Miles, 3 Ben Warren, 2 Will Griffiths, 1 Daniel Davis
Replacements: 16 Morgan Nelson, 17 Jordan Walters, 18 Josh Reynolds, 19 Lewis Ellis-Jones, 20 Ben Fry, 21 Taine Basham, 22 Callum Morris, 23 Callum Carson, 24 Scott Lloyd, 25 Tommy Rogers
Referee: Jaco Pretorius (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Nathan Swartz (South Africa), Sinthemba Mrulwa (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)