Stedman Gans scored a brace as SA Schools beat Wales U18 42-11 in Cape Town on Friday.
The hosts ran in five tries, four of which were converted by flyhalf Curwin Bosch.
The first half was a stop-start but tense affair. With both defensive systems holding well, the sides accumulated points via the kicking tee, with Bosch and his direct opponent Billy McBryde trading penalty goals twice to level the scores at 6-6 after 30 minutes.
With half-time looming, scrumhalf Embrose Papier broke Wales U18’s resistance when he picked the ball up at the base of a ruck and dived over from close-range for the first try. Bosch successfully negated the conversion as the hosts led 13-6 at the interval.
SA Schools broke away on the scoreboard and stamped their authority on the match in the second stanza, as their backs became more involved. Gans, the Blue Bulls Craven Week centre, bagged a double five minutes after the restart, before hooker Johan Grobbelaar crossed the line for their fourth try from a charged-down kick inside the 22, stretching the lead to 32-6.
Wales U18 were dealt another blow when fullback Rhun Williams received a red card for a dangerous tackle. This paved the way for Bosch to add a penalty, while lock Ruben de Villiers scored SA Schools’ final try, bringing the score to 42-6. Wales hit back with a last effort through inside centre Kieran Williams, but this was merely a consolation after struggling to make their presence felt in the match.
Earlier in the day, Lions-bound flyhalf Bader Pretorius top-scored with 14 points as SA Schools A claimed a 29-14 victory over Italy U18. Both sides scored two converted tries, but Pretorius kept the scoreboard ticking over with four penalties, while his replacement Eddie Fouché followed suit with a fifth and final penalty kick.
Meanwhile, England U18 opened their account with a hard-fought 15-7 win against neighbours France U18. Centre Sam Aspland-Robinson’s first-half brace handed England a 12-0 advantage at half-time. They did concede a converted try in the second stanza, while only adding a penalty to their own tally.
On Tuesday, South Africa A meet England U18 at 1pm; Wales U18 play Italy U18 at 3pm and South Africa face France U18 at 5pm.
SA Schools (42) – Tries: Embrose Papier, Stedman Gans (2), Johan Grobbelaar, Ruben de Villiers. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (4). Penalties: Bosch (3).
Wales U18 (11) – Try: Kieran Williams. Penalties: Billy McBryde (2).
SA Schools A (29) – Tries: Ryan Muller, Zain Davids. Conversions: Bader Pretorius, Eddie Fouché. Penalties: Pretorius (4), Fouché.
Italy U18 (14) – Tries: Giordano Baldino, Andrea Bronzini. Conversions: Roberto Dal Zilio (2).
England U18 (15) – Tries: Sam Aspland-Robinson (2). Conversion: TBC. Penalty: TBC.
France (7) – Try: TBC. Coversion: TBC