The opening match of the second round delivered four tries each for the two sides in a match that saw the lead change hands numerous times.

The spectators at Paarl Gymnasium were treated to a see-saw affair, with the South Africans showing great determination to fight back for scoreboard parity.

The visitors started with a bang as Welsh fullback Jake Morgan scored in the opening minutes. They exploited the blind side, where the SA Schools A side found themselves outnumbered and Morgan trotted over. Thomas Mathews (centre) converted and kicked a penalty goal soon after to make the score 10-0 in no time.

The SA Schools A team did not take the fast start by their opponents laying down and started to put pressure on the Welsh through their forwards. They had long spells on attack, but just could not get past the visitors’ dogged defence, who held out until they conceded a yellow card for repeated infringements.

That purred the South Africans on and their determination paid off though as Teague Loelly (hooker) scored from an attacking lineout drive after 19 minutes of play. The conversion was good and the SA Schools A side were back in the game.

The attack continued and Sonwabo Sokoyi (winger) ran onto a long pass to put his team in the lead, with Jacques Rossouw's second conversion extending the lead.

That lead was short-lived however. The Welsh set up a powerful lineout drive and Thomas King (hooker) scored a converted try to put his side back into a 17-14 lead.

That was soon equalled out by a Rossouw penalty goal, with the left-footer equalising the scores again.

Wales had the last impact in the half though as Luke Davis (flyhalf) waltzed through from a strong lineout that had the SA defence at sixes and sevens.

The opening try of the second half was a delightful one for the local side. A turn-over near their tryline saw SA Schools A No 8 and captain, Jarod Cairns, starting a counter-attack which was finished off 85m later by Sibusiso Javu (winger). Rossouw, who had a hand in the move, converted to draw the scores level again.

The Welsh took the lead again when Mason Grady (winger) ran all of 50 meters after picking up a stray pass and outsprinting a couple of forwards. That edged them 31-24 ahead, but a strong forward drive by the home side saw Loelly getting his second of the back of the maul. Rossouw slotted from a tight angle to draw level again.

The last couple of minutes delivered some nervous moments for both defences, but in the end, the draw seemed a fair result.


SA Schools A 31 (17) - Tries: Teague Loelly (2), Sonwabo Sokoyi, Sibusiso Javu. Conversions: Jacques Rossouw (4). Penalty goal: Rossouw. 

Wales 31 (24) - Tries: Jake Morgan, Thomas King, Luke Davies, Mason Grady. Conversions: Thomas Mathews (4). Penalty goal: Mathews.