Curwin Bosch kicked 13 points as SA Schools claimed a 23-16 victory over England U18 in Cape Town on Saturday.
Both sides scored two converted tries, but Bosch was once again the difference between winning and losing, as he nailed three penalty goals to England’s one to ensure SA Schools finish the international series undefeated.
England took the lead in wet weather conditions when flyhalf Theo Brophy Clews split the uprights after SA Schools were pinged for infringing at the breakdown. But the hosts dominated thereafter, exerting sustained pressure on England’s tryline.
In the 22nd minute, hooker Johan Grobbelaar broke through a gap in England's defence and got a perfect pop pass away to scrumhalf Embrose Papier, who dived in under the posts. Bosch added the conversion and a penalty soon after, but the visitors hit back with a penalty of their own to trail 10-6 at half-time.
England fought back with intent at the resumption, forcing their way through the defence for their first try by Max Malins. But their one-point lead was short-lived as Papier and No 8 Hacjivah Dayimani linked up brilliantly from the back of an attacking scrum. Dayimani picked up the ball and played a one-two with his scrumhalf down the blindside to touch down, with Bosch again easily negotiating the conversion despite the weather.
England started to lose patience in defence, conceding a number of penalties and Bosch was on hand to convert two of those into points to extend the lead to 23-11.
With the game drawing to a close, a scuffle between the forwards broke out and both teams were reduced to 14 boys. England adapted faster and breached SA Schools' defence in the final minute, but with the conversion going awry, the try served as a mere consolation.
Meanwhile, Wales U18 staged a comeback to draw 20-20 with SA Schools A. The hosts led 10-3 early on, but the strong Welsh pack allowed them to force their way back into the game to level the scores late in the second half.
In the other match France U18 beat Italy U18 25-17.
SA Schools (23) – Tries: Embrose Papier, Hacjivah Dayimani. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2). Penalties: Curwin Bosch (3).
England U18 (16) – Tries: Ali Crossdale, Max Malins. Penalties: Theo Brophy Clews (2).
SA Schools A (20) – Tries: Bader Pretorius, Kwanda Dimaza, Phillip Krause. Conversion: Cornel Smit. Penalties: Cornel Smit.
Wales U18 (20) – Tries: Josh Macleod, Leon Brown, Morgan Sieniawski. Conversion: Billy McBryde. Penalty: Callum Hall.
France U18 (25) – TBC
Italy U18 (17) – TBC
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