- England U18 beat South Africa 30-22 in Stellenbosch
- We were on top for the majority of the game – Fletcher
England Under 18 30 South Africa U18 22
Photo: Getty Images
England Under 18 have beaten South Africa 30-22 in Stellenbosch to finish their season unbeaten.
Tries from Rotimi Segun, Joe Batley and Max Clark put England in control in the first half, while a second half score from Sam Underhill took the game away from South Africa. Harry Mallinder added four points with the boot, and Rory Jennings six.
England started brilliantly and were 12-0 up with barely ten minutes on the clock with quick-fire tries from Segun and Batley.
South Africa got on the board with 14 played to make it 12-3 but it didn’t take long for England to hit back when Clark powered over one minute later.
The hosts upped the ante as the half progressed and while the English defence held firm for the most part, South Africa did force their way over to make it 19-8 at the break.
England started the half as they did the first and Underhill dived over early on to put England 16 ahead at 24-8. The South Africans hit back soon after though, scoring their second try to make it 24-15.
England then went down to 14 men and were forced onto the back foot for long periods, but England turned over possession and went up the other end, won a penalty and made it 27-15.
A third South Africa try made it 27-22 with not long to play, but Jennings’ second three-pointer gave England an eight point cushion which is how it stayed.
Delighted to get the result – Fletcher
Head Coach John Fletcher said: “We’re delighted to get the result, the players and management have been great all tour, but the performance was the most pleasing thing. I thought that we were on top for the majority of the game, South Africa came back fighting in the second half but our defence was excellent and we deserved the victory.
“Charlie Beckett led the guys very well, and when he went off Sam Underhill took over and he was also excellent. They’re a talented group and deserve the success.
“In terms of the programme – from Under 15 through to Under 19 – we’ve finished the season unbeaten, and while it’s not all about results, it’s clearly a positive thing. And if you include the Under 20s in that too – they lost one game in the Six Nations and won the Junior World Championship, so it’s fair to say that English rugby is in a good place.
“There is some real talent coming through and our job is to provide players who will ultimately deliver at the highest level. A real bulk of the work is done at the Regional Academies, the schools and the colleges and they deserve a lot of credit too.”
Points: Segun 1T, Batley 1T, Clark 1T, Underhill 1T; Mallinder 2C, Jennings 2P
England Under 18 team to play South Africa
15 Taylor Prell (Giggleswick School & Yorkshire Carnegie)
14 Kai Little (Hartpury College)
13 Max Clark (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby)
12 Harry Mallinder (Rugby School & Northampton Saints)
11 Rotimi Segun (Stowe School & Northampton Saints)
10 Rory Jennings (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby)
9 Will Homer (Sherborne School & Bath Rugby)
1 Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry's & Yorkshire Carnegie)
2 Ollie Adams (St Pauls Catholic College & London Irish)
3 Ciaran Parker (St Ambrose & Sale Sharks)
4 Kieran Treadwell (John Fisher & Harlequins)
5 Joe Batley (Hartpury College & Gloucester Rugby)
6 Charlie Beckett (QEW & Leicester Tigers) (c)
7 Sam Underhill (Sir Thomas Rich’s School & Gloucester Rugby)
8 Lewis Ludlam (St Joseph’s College & Northampton Saints)
16 James Fish (Trent College & Northampton Saints)
17 Owen Hills (QEW & Leicester Tigers)
18 Seb Adeniran-Olule (Wellington College & Harlequins)
19 Joe Maksymiw (QEW & Leicester Tigers)
20 George Nott (Kings School Chester & Sale Sharks)
21 Joe Marchant (Peter Symonds & Harlequins)
22 Ollie Thorley (Cheltenham College & Gloucester Rugby)
23 John Williams (St Pauls College & London Irish)
24 Cameron Cowell (St Pauls College & London Irish)
25 Theo Brophy Clews (Abingdon School & London Irish)