- England Under 18s slip to 19-14 defeat in Cape Town
- Two James Chisholm tries not enough for Fletcher's side
England Under 18s fell to a tough 19-14 loss against a physical South Africa Schools side in Cape Town. Captain James Chisholm scored two tries but it wasn’t quite enough against the Baby Boks.
With five on the clock fly half Sam Olver sent a penalty towards the posts but it fell short and was knocked on by a South African defender. From the resulting scrum Chisholm peeled off the back and touched down and Olver added the extras.
South Africa hit back straightaway though and reduced the deficit to four points with a well-taken penalty just wide of England’s posts. With the hosts on the front foot they made the possession count with a try that came after a spell off sustained pressure to make it 8-7.
England almost regained the lead on the stroke of half time when a well-executed cross-field kick from Olver was gathered by Tom Howe, but the London Wasps wing was held up on the line.
The hosts started the second half brightly and had their second try ten minutes after the restart when their wing powered through to touch down. The conversion was missed to leave England six points behind at 13-7.
Photo: Tania Richards
England full back Howard then picked the ball up deep in his own half and embarked on a mazy length-of-the-field run before being stopped illegally. South Africa were reduced to 14-men and from the resulting scrum Chisholm picked up from the base and touched down to put England 14-13 up after Olver’s conversion.
But two late penalties from South Africa’s fly half made it 19-13 and despite a late onslaught from England, they couldn’t make the breakthrough.
Head Coach John Fletcher said: “We’re obviously disappointed with the loss but to be honest we didn’t start as well as we could have done in the first half. Perhaps that was to be expected as these guys are just coming off the back of pre-season and haven’t played for a while.
“We had one held up on the line just before half time, and if we had got that one down I think we would have gone on to win the game, but it wasn’t be. We came back into it in the second half and it could have gone either way, but credit to South Arica – they were physical and took their chances.”
Points: Chisholm 2T; Olver 2C
England Under 18 starting XV against South Africa
15 Howard Packman (Moulton College & Northampton Saints) 14 Tom Howe (Shiplake College & London Wasps) 13 Nick Carpenter (Filton College & Bristol Rugby) 12 Max Clark (Bryanston & Bath Rugby) 11 Nathan Earle (Oaklands & Saracens) 10 Sam Olver (Oundle School & Northampton Saints) 9 Stuart Townsend (Ivybridge Community College & Exeter Chiefs) 1 Alex Lundberg (Hampton School & London Wasps) 2 Cameron Neild (Manchester Grammar & Sale Sharks) 3 Paul Hill (Prince Henry's Grammar & Leeds Carnegie) 4 Tom Ellis (Millfield & Bath Rugby) 5 Charlie Ewels (Bryanston & Bath Rugby) 6 Hayden Stringer (Oaklands & Saracens) 7 Lewis Ludlow (Hartpury College & Gloucester Rugby) 8 James Chisholm (Brighton College & Harlequins, captain)
16 Jack Walker (Prince Henry's & Leeds Carnegie) on for Cameron Neild 50 mins 17 Luke Chapman (Truro College & Exeter Chiefs) 18 Ciaran Parker (St Ambrose & Sale Sharks) 19 Josh Peters (Oundle School & Northampton Saints) 20 Ellis Genge (Hartpury College & Bristol Rugby) on for Alex Lundberg 50 mins 21 James Mitchell (Lymm School & Sale Sharks) on for Stuart Townsend 66 mins 22 Will Owen (QE Leicester & Leicester Tigers) on for Lewis Ludlow 57 mins 23 Josh Sharp (Oaklands College & Saracens) on for Sam Olver 63 mins 24 Rory Jennings (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby) 25 Josh Skelcey (Moulton College & Northampton Saints) on for Howard Packman 61 mins 26 Tom Fowlie (St Pauls Catholic College & London Irish) on for Tom Howe 57 mins