England U18 missed out on an unbeaten tour of South Africa in the U18 International Series at the weekend, losing 23-16 in their final game against South Africa U18 in Cape Town.
England had previously beaten both France and South Africa U18 A, with South Africa beating France and Wales, and the closeness between the two sides was reflected in the two all try count. South African prowess from the tee ultimately winning the game.
England actually took the lead through a penalty in the opening few minutes, before a South African counterpunch mid-half through a converted try and a penalty saw the hosts take the lead.
England countered well though, eventually regaining the lead through a Max Malins score. Malins was one of a select group of players starting his third game in a row on tour. It was set to be his third different position too, having previously played at fly half and inside centre he was set to start at full back. However a late shuffle saw the Felsted man move to inside centre, with Millfieldâ€™s Darren Atkins coming in at full back after missing last weekâ€™s game through illness.
South Africa responded in style to the Malins score though, scoring thirteen points in ten minutes before a spate of sin-binnings marked a scrappy period of the game.
England did start to edge back, crossing the whitewash through Sedbergh star Ali Crossdale, but unfortunately for the young men in white, it was not quite enough to see them overhaul their South African hosts.
England U18 16-23 South Africa U18
England U18 XV:
15. Darren Atkins (Bath Rugby, Millfield School)Â Â Â Â Â
14. Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins, Wellington College)
13. Max Wright (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henry’s)
12. Max Malins (Saracens, Felsted)
11. Roti Segun (Unattached, Stowe School)
10. Theo Brophy Clews (London Irish, Abingdon School)
9. Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, Blundells School)
1. Jake Pope (Sale Sharks, Myerscough College)
2. Joe Mullis (Gloucester Rugby, Chosen Hill)
3. Billy Walker (Saracens, Oaklands College)
4. Archie White (Harlequins, Epsom College)
5. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, Haileybury College)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
6. Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby, Merchiston Castle School)
7. Will Allman (Northampton Saints, Trent College)
8. Callum Chick (Newcastle Falcons, Gosforth Academy, captain)
16. Curtis Langdon (London Irish, St Pauls Sunbury)
17. Billy Keast (Exeter Chiefs, Truro College)
18. Charlie Capps (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henry’s)Â Â Â
19. Alex Moon (Northampton Saints, Sedbergh School)
20. Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby, Millfield School)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
21. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins, Trinity)Â Â
22. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, Lymm HS)
23. Dominic Morris (Saracens, New Hall School)
24. Ali Crossdale (Newcastle Falcons, Sedbergh School)