England Saxons win South Africa A series

Mike Haley on the run for England Saxons

England Saxons won their series in South Africa by beating the South Africa A 26-29 at Outeniqua Park in George.

The Saxons beat South Africa A 24-32 last Friday in Bloemfontein so they will return home undefeated.

The Saxons staged a remarkable comeback as at one point they trailed 26-8 but came back to win the match.

The hosts enjoyed the best of the first half action with tries from Jean-Luc du Preez and Sergeal Petersen giving them a 12-8 lead at the break. The Saxons’ score came from Tommy Taylor following a rolling maul.

South Africa A increased the pressure at the start of the second half with two quick scores from Petersen and centre Francois Venter extending the lead to 26-8.

However, the Saxons fightback began immediately with Taylor adding another before Matt Kvesic crossed to bring the Saxons within four points with 25 minutes still left to play.

With four minutes left, wing Christian Wade dived over following a period of huge pressure from the England pack. Danny Cipriani added the extras to give the visitors the lead for the first time.

The Saxons then saw the final few minutes out to secure the two-game series win.

Saxons Head Coach Ali Hepher said: “I am just chuffed to bits for the guys, they really put it in out there. They fought hard for each other and that is what we needed when we were in a pretty dark position.

“The character that came through just shows how much they want to play for their country.”

Hepher praised the grit shown in getting back into the game: “The maul was the way to win the game and we did that. We started winning collisions and being aggressive in our defence.”

He added: “It is important for their careers. They have shown positive things and have put their hand up. They need to take that forward and put that into their Premiership teams.

“They are not a long way off international rugby and it should be quite exciting for them.”

Double try scorer Taylor said: “To get a series win in the southern hemisphere is fantastic. I’ll remember this for the rest of my career. It’s been a great trip with a great bunch of lads.”

Captain Dave Attwood added: “I couldn’t be prouder of this Saxons team tonight. They showed so much character and so much belief. It was a great victory.”

South Africa A 26 (12) England Saxons 29 (8)

Scorers

South Africa A
Tries – du Preez, Petersen (2), Venter
Pen –
Con – Brummer (2), Zas
Drop –
Cards –

England Saxons
Tries – Taylor (2), Kvesic, Wade
Pen – Cipriani (3)
Con – Cipriani
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee : Jaco van Heerden

Teams

The SA ‘A’ team

15 , Leolin Zas , 14 , Sergeal Petersen , 13 , Francois Venter (vc) , 12 , Lukhanyo Am , 11 , Courtnall Skosan , 10 , Francois Brummer , 9 , Piet van Zyl ,8 , Arno Botha , 7 , Oupa Mohoje (c) , 6 , Jean-Luc du Preez , 5 , RG Snyman , 4 , Jason Jenkins 3 , Marcel van der Merwe , 2 , Malcolm Marx , 1 , Thomas du Toit

Replacements: 16 , Edgar Marutlulle , 17 , Coenie Oosthuizen , 18 , Lizo Gqoboka , 19 , JD Schickerling , 20 , Nizaam Carr , 21 , Ntando Kebe , 22 , Howard Mnisi , 23 , Travis Ismaiel

England Saxons

15. Mike Haley , 14. Semesa Rokoduguni , 13. Nick Tompkins , 12. Ollie Devoto , 11. Christian Wade , 10. Danny Ciprian, 9. Dan Robson ,8. Donovan Armand , 7. Matt Kvesic , 6. Dave Ewers , 5. Charlie Ewels , 4. Dave Attwood (C) , 3. Kieran Brookes, 2. Tommy Taylor ,1. Alec Hepburn

Replacements : 16. George McGuigan, 17. Ross Harrison , 18. Jake Cooper-Woolley , 19. Mitch Lees, 20. Sam Jones, 21. Micky Young, 22. Sam Hill, 23. Sam James,

 

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