SA Schools prepare for English battle

Coach Chris October has named an unchanged team to face a ‘tough’ U18 England side in Kimberley.

The SA Schools’ side flexed their muscles in the 86-3 drubbing over their Italian counterparts on Wednesday. However, October says it will be a different ball game against the English.

‘England are a completely different team,’ he told keo.co.za. ‘They have a much bigger pack so they will be much more physical.

‘The English are also well drilled, well coached and they have good structure. They are the winners of the U18 Six Nations, so they have played over six or seven months together.

‘Our team, on the other hand, have only trained this week together. So we want to stick to the same game plan we had in the last game. We will be up against it, but it will be a good challenge for us.’

England proved their superiority against an out-of-sorts Western Province Schools team, thrashing them 95-0 on Tuesday. October will have to depend on his back three – fullback Riaan Britz and wings Sizo Maseko and Brian Skozana – to head their attack, but he believes his side can beat the English by using the correct tactics.

‘I’ve studied a bit of the video footage and realised what a formidable team they are. However, I believe we can match them up front.

‘We just have to shift the ball away from their big forward pack and make them run around. We have to utilise our backline skills and use it to our advantage. Our strike runners have proved that they are lethal in attack.

‘However, we can’t ignore why the back three have performed well. It has been a team effort that laid the foundation. The attack always starts with the tight-five working at the breakdowns,’

October is confident his team can continue their winning momentum.

‘We had a lekker chat during practice. I told the team that they should stand up and be counted for.

‘We have a team concept and everybody has a role to play. Even the players on the bench have to bring their game when they go on to the field. We, as South Africans, want to represent our proud nation.’

The match will be played at 5pm on Friday.

SA Schools: 15 Riaan Britz (Free State) 14 Sizo Maseko (Pumas) 11 Brian Skosana (Eastern Province CD) 13 Piet Lindeque (Free State) 12 Andile Jho (Border) 10 William van Wyk (Western Province) 9 Pieter Rademan (Free State, captain) 8 Siya Kolisi (Eastern Province) 7 Jean Cook (Free State) 6 Lean Schwartz (Blue Bulls) 5 Carl Wenger (Free State) 4 Frederick Schnetler (KZN) 3 Jozua Malherbe (Western Province) 2 Bongi Mbonambi (Lions) 1 Stephanus Kotze (Free State) Subs: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni (Lions) 17 Zolani Faku (SA Academy) 18. Chris Cloete (Border) 19 Nizaam Carr (Western Province) 20 Kobese Bangihlonbe (Border) 21 Tony Jantjies (Blue Bulls) 22 Philippus du Plessis (Western Province)

By Gareth Duncan