France U18 put in a dominant performance to beat SA Schools A 43-19 in the U18 International Series opener in Stellenbosch on Friday. DYLAN JACK reports
The match was very much a contrast of two sides as France, who won the U18 Six Nations this year, looked far more settled and comfortable in their structures than SA Schools, who only started training together for the series on Monday.
The SA Schools side was especially lacking in their defensive structure as France found it way too easy to break tackles and ran in a couple of tries straight off the kick off. It must be added that when the South African schoolboys got the ball, they looked threatening and made the little possession they had in the first half count.
France flew into a 24-0 lead thanks to tries from flyhalf Leo Barre, outside centre Logan Tabet, wing Jessy Maizer and inside centre Ethan Randale.
The SA Schools A did finally get some ball and made it count as they kept their patience before good hands from flank Izan Esterhuizen saw wing Indiphile Tyeda go over in the corner. France then lost Barre to a yellow card for cynical play, with South Africa further reducing the deficit when Philip Masango drove over.
However, Eric Boussard ran in a try for France on the brink of half-time to make it 31-14 at the break.
South Africa grew into the match in the second half and again narrowed the deficit when replacement hooker Teague Lolly scored from a driving maul. They continued to fight hard but were trapped in their own half for much of the half, aside from a couple of linebreaks that ended with offloads not going to hand.
France put the cherry on top of the win when No 8 Killian Tixeront and replacement Phillipe Savelli scored in the final minutes of the game.
SA Schools A – Tries: Indiphile Tyeda, Philip Masango, Teague Lolly. Conversions: Jordan Hendrikse (2).
France U18 – Tries: Leo Barre, Logan Tabet, Eric Boussard, Ethan Randale, Jessy Maizer, Killian Tixeront, Phillipe Savelli. Conversions: Nolan le Garrec (4)
SA Schools A – 15 Sibusiso Javu, 14 Joseph Iye, 13 Jacques Rossouw, 12 Sihlalo Benge, 11 Indiphile Tyeda, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Damion O’Connell, 8 Jarod Cairns (c), 7 Izan Esterhuizen, 6 Josh van Vreden, 5 Marco van Rhyn, 4 Sisonke Vumazonke, 3 Philip Masango, 2 Jacques-Lois du Toit, 1 Rynhardt Rijnsburger.
Subs: 16 Teague Lolly, 17 Dimakatso Lebelo, 18 Gerhard van der Merwe, 19 Raynard Roets, 20 Pierich Siebert, 21 Kabelo Moketi, 22 Nsuku Baloyi, 23 Sonwabo Sokoyi, 24 Cornelius Rahl, 25 Renzo du Plessis.
France U18 – 15 Benjamin Descamps, 14 Eric Boussard, 13 Logan Tabet, 12 Ethan Randale, 11 Jessy Maizer, 10 Leo Barre, 9 Nolann le Garrec (c), 8 Killian Tixeront, 7 Maxime Baudonne, 6 Mahamadou Coulibaly, 5 Wesley Lindor, 4 Noa Kanika, 3 Abel Cunha, 2 Benjamin Boudou, 1 Thomas Abouem.
Subs: 16 Sacha Idoumi, 17 Pierre Pacheco, 18 Thomas Cretu, 19 Victor Montgillard, 20 Matteo Desjeux, 21 Louis Descoux, 22 Baptiste Prcanovic, 23 Theo Ntamack, 24 Paul Jambon, 25 Louis Bordette, 26 Phillipe Savelli.
Photo: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Image