SA Schools racked up a half-century of points in an entertaining clash with the SA Schools A side at Hamilton Rugby Football Club in Green Point on Saturday.
Playing in green jerseys, SA Schools beat the second team 57-27, scoring eight tries to three in the shadow of Cape Town Stadium where the series decider between the Springboks and Wales took place.
The first-choice team scored four of the first-half tries to take a 26-13 lead into the break. Hooker Luca Bakkes scored the first after some great play from a turnover in the second minute. Flyhalf Thurlon Williams added the extras to put his side in the lead by 7-0.
Fifteen minutes later, wing Joel Leotlela scored out wide, although it was a bit fortunate as the ball was tapped back by an opponent, and the SA Schools side looked to be in control, leading by 12-0.
But a flurry of penalties – two of which were converted into points by SA Schools A flyhalf Bradley Giddy – brought the team in white back into the frame and when centre Antonio Bruiners scored from two mistakes by the SA Schools side, the A team took a 13-12 lead five minutes before the break.
Things then clicked for SA Schools as centre inside Joshua Boulle and No 8 Sibabalwe Mahashe crossed the whitewash after some slick handling and, with Williams converting both, the first team took a 13-point lead at half time.
Not to be outdone, the seconds hit the ground running after the restart when Bruiners went over for his second try, also converted by Giddy, to make it a six-point game as both benches joined the action.
However, just as they had done at the end of the first half, the first team hit back with two tries in quick succession as replacement lock Jack Waterhouse and scrumhalf Caleb Abrahams scored close to the sticks, with fellow substitute Stehan Heymans adding the extras to push the team in green into a 40-20 lead with just over 20 minutes to go.
Gaining ascendancy up front and playing with more confidence, the SA Schools side tightened their grip on the match and increased their lead with a Heymans penalty goal and a converted try by replacement flanker Thomas Dyer.
SA Schools 57 (26) – Tries: Luca Bakkes, Joel Leotlela, Joshua Boulle, Sibabalwe Mahashe, Jack Waterhouse, Caleb Abrahams, Thomas Dyer, Ruan Swart. Conversions: Thurlon Williams (3), Stehan Heymans (4). Penalty: Heymans.
SA Schools A 27 (13) – Tries: Antonio Bruiners (2), Keanu Coetzee. Conversions: Bradley Giddy (3). Penalties: Giddy (2).