SA young guns take aim at strong finish

South Africa’s best U18 talent will be on display in Paarl on Saturday afternoon when the U18 International series wraps up with the SA U18 A team facing France, before the SA U18s take on England.

The SA U18s are fresh off a 49-17 thrashing of France on Tuesday, but they’ll be weary of their upcoming opponents who pulled off a sensational comeback victory over the SA A team earlier this week.

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U18 coach Katleho Lynch said: “We wanted to take control of the game against France and I was especially pleased with the way we started the game, getting some points early, with our support play very good in helping to set up some of those tries.

For our last game, we want to finish with a strong effort. We’ve gone back to the drawing board, reviewed our games so far to ensure we are as well prepared as possible for what will be a tough game against an England side that will be hungry to finish their tour with a win,” added Lynch.

Disappointed with the narrow defeat by England but optimistic ahead of their game against the French, U18 A coach Cobus van Dyk says they’ll be looking for an improved performance this weekend.

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The players have invested in our plans and they have shown amazing growth during our time together,” said Van Dyk.

We wanted to dominate the gainline, which we did, and our set pieces were very good, but we were perhaps a bit unlucky with a few small things that didn’t go our way on Tuesday.

I can’t fault the players’ effort and we are looking for another improved performance this weekend, playing with intensity and urgency on attack, and if we stick to the plan, I’m sure the ball will bounce in our favour.”

The first match at Paarl Gimnasium kicks off at 1:30pm between the SA U18 A team and France, followed by the the SA U18s against England at 3:30pm.

How the teams line up:

SA U18 to face England in Paarl:

15 Joel Leotlela (Lions)
14 Alfondso Isaacs (Cheetahs)
13 Sha-Jehaan de Jongh (Western Province)
12 Joshua Boulle (Lions)
11 Litelihle Bester (Sharks)
10 Thurlon Williams (Western Province)
9 Caleb Abrahams (Cheetahs)
8 Sibabalwe Mahashe (captain – Border)
7 Lukas Meyer (Cheetahs)
6 Matthew Fick (Western Province)
5 Thabang Mpafi (Lions)
4 Thomas Dyer (Sharks)
3 Casper Badenhorst (Cheetahs)
2 Ethan Bester (Sharks)
1 Ruan Swart (SWD)

16 Luca Bakkes (Western Province)
17 Liyema Ntshanga (Sharks)
18 Nic Snyman (Sharks)
19 Jack Waterhouse (Sharks)
20 Lilitha Matziliza (Bulls)
21 Steven Nel (Bulls)
22 Stehan Heymans (Bulls)
23 Bruce Sherwood (Western Province)
24 Jeneil Losper (Western Province)

Referee: Paul Mente

SA U18 A to face France in Paarl:
15 Jayden Bantom (Valke)
14 Sesethu Mpaka (Border)
13 Jurenzo Julies (Western Province)
12 Philip-Albert van Niekerk (Western Province)
11 Jeneil Losper (Western Province)
10 Liam Koen (Western Province)
9 Asad Moos (Western Province)
8 Zukisane Tom (Sharks)
7 Sandile Nzuza (Sharks)
6 Max du Pisani (Eastern Province)
5 Keanu Coetzee (captain – Western Province)
4 Sampie Joubert (Western Province)
3 Marco Conradie (SWD)
2 Juan Smal (Western Province)
1 Liyema Ntshanga (Sharks)

16 Christian Everitt (Sharks)
17 Willem Loubser (Western Province)
18 Siyabonga Dube (Sharks)
19 Danio Botha (Western Province)
20 Yabo Ndzamela (Sharks)
21 Aiden Muller (Western Province)
22 Bradley Giddy (Cheetahs)
23 Antonio Bruiners (Western Province)
24 Jameel de Jongh (Western Province)
25 Gino Cupido (Western Province)

Referee: Christopher Allison

Photo: Twitter/@Springboks

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