The SA Schools team got off to a winning start in the international series with a 28-13 win over France U18 in Cape Town on Friday.
Four converted tries, two in each half, was sufficient enough to maintain their perfect record in the annual tournament, dating back four years.
Playing with a strong wind behind them during the first half, it was the French who dominated territory. They drew first blood when scrumhalf Antoine Dupont dotted down under the posts after a deceptive dummy. It was all France at that stage, although the hosts looked very dangerous on the counter-attack.
SA Schools would draw level through an Andell Loubscher try, with Craven Week star Curwin Bosch playing a pivotal role.
France hit back with a penalty and a drop goal from flyhalf Anthony Belleau, before another moment of genius from Bosch led to a second try for South Africa, scored by outside centre Barend Smit. Bosch slotted the conversion to hand his side a slender 14-13 lead at half-time.
The second half was a stop-start affair, with a raft of substitutions halting both side’s momentum. The SA Schools loose forwards struggled to secure quality possession for their dangerous backs, highlighting the decision not to select any openside flankers in the squad.
Lock Jaco Willemse would power over after a strong rolling maul early in the second half, before Loubscher rounded things off with a minute to go.
South Africa will face Wales U18, who went down 24-21 to England in the earlier match, in Outeniqua on Wednesday.
SA Schools – Tries: Andell Loubser (2), Barend Johannes Smit, Jaco Willemse. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (4).
France U18 – Try: Antonie Dupont. Conversion: Anthony Belleau. Penalty: Belleau. Drop goal: Belleau.
SA Schools – 15 Eduan Keyter, 14 Andell Loubsher, 13 Barend Smit, 12 JT Jackson, 11 Jerry Danquah, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Marko Janse van Vuuren, 8 Jaco Coetzee (c), 7 Victor Maruping, 6 Edmund Rheeder, 5 Eduard Zandberg, 4 Jaco Willemse, 3 Ignatius Prinsloo, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Ngonidzashe Chidoma.
Subs: 16 Le Roux Baard, 17 Michael Kumbirai, 18 Sarel-Marco Smit, 19 Ashton Fortuin, 20 Cobus Wiese, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Thinus de Beer.
France U18 – 15 Romain Buros, 14 Timothe Hauw, 13 Eliott Roudil, 12 Louis Fajfrowski, 11 Mohamed Qadiri, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Antonie Dupont, 8 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Judicael Cancoriet, 6 Boris Palu, 5 Theo Hannoyer, 4 Florian Verhaeghe, 3 Michael Simutoga, 2 Yann de Fauverge, 1 Clement Castets.
Subs: 16 Emerick Setiano, 17 Florian Dufour, 18 Hugo Pirlet, 19 Guillaume Ducat, 20 Pierre Reynaud, 21 Christopher Kaiser, 22 Franck Pourteau, 23 Dorian Laborde.