England U18 fell to a second successive defeat as they went down 53-14 to South Africa Schools A.
The defeat follows last week’s 23-18 loss to France U18, but England still have a chance to claim a win on Saturday when they face South Africa Schools.
England had made ten changes to their starting side that lost against France, but struggled in the first half, with only a try from captain Gabriel Ibitoye (Trinity & Harlequins), converted by Wellington College’s Tom Parton, in response to 22 points from the South Africans.
The home of Bishops School is a tough place for any English side to play in, and things only got tougher in the second half. South Africa Schools A added a further thirty-one points to their tally, with England scoring just a solitary try through replacement fly half James Grayson, who converted his own score to bring England’s total up to 14.
It was a remarkable turnaround for South Africa Schools A, who lost 23-20 to Italy a few days ago, an Italian side that Wales yesterday defeated 41-18, with Hartpury College duo Morgan Morris and Jordan Liney in the starting side alongside side Solihull’s Will Talbot-Davies, while Sedbergh’s James Botham was on the bench.
It was a good turnaround for Wales, who had lost 23-17 against South Africa Schools on Friday, the side that England take on in their final game at 13.15 on Saturday. The South Africans found real form earlier though, beating France 42-3.
Speaking to www.englandrugby.com after the game, England Head Coach John Fletcher was upbeat despite the result, saying:
“Their defence put us under a lot of pressure and we found it difficult to adapt, our decision making on the ball needs to improve because we had lots of chances to score. In terms of effort you can’t fault the guys, they’re running around and making tackles so we just need to work on a few key areas before the weekend.”
“Our game will be very similar on Saturday in terms of physicality so we need to stop them getting momentum earlier on. They were very good at getting over the gain line and our skills were put under pressure in attack.”
Full Time: England U18 14-53 South Africa Schools A
England U18 XV
15 Gabriel Ibitoye (Trinity & Harlequins)
14 Joe Cokanasiga (Bushe Academy & London Irish)
13 Oli Morris (New Hall & Saracens)
12 Jacob Umaga (Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College & Wasps)
11 Ben Loader (Wellington College & London Irish)
10 Tom Parton (Wellington College & London Irish)
9 Harry Simmons (Gresham’s & Leicester Tigers)
1 Jarod Leat (St Paul’s Catholic College & Wasps)
2 Jamie Blamire (Gosforth Academy & Newcastle Falcons)
3 Ehren Painter (Felsted & Northampton Saints)
4 Dino Lamb-Cona (Cranleigh & Harlequins)
5 Josh Williams (Hartlepool 6th form College & Newcastle Falcons)
6 Josh Bayliss (Millfield & Bath)
7 Ben Curry (Oundle & Sale Sharks)
8 Sam Moore (Sedbergh & Sale Sharks)
16 Henry Walker (Bromsgrove & Gloucester)
17 Alex Seville (Hartpury College & Gloucester)
18 Ciaran Knight (St Peter’s, Gloucester & Gloucester)
19 Ted Hill (Worcester 6th form College & Worcester Warriors)
20 Tom Curry (Oundle & Sale Sharks)
21 Tom Willis (Henley College & Wasps)
22 Rory Brand (Wellington College & London Irish)
23 James Grayson (Moulton College & Northampton Saints)
24 Ali Crossdale (Sedbergh & Saracens)
25 Matt Williams (Wellington College & London Irish)
26 Levi Davis (Denstone College & Unattached)
England U18 18-23 France U18
England U18 14-53 South Africa Schools A
England U18 v South Africa Schools – Saturday 20th August, 13.15
Italy 23-20 South Africa Schools A
Wales 17-23 South Africa Schools
Wales 41-18 Italy
South Africa Schools 42-3 France U18
Wales U18 v South Africa Schools A – Saturday 20th August
Italy U18 v France U18 – Saturday 20th August