SA A end winless tour with 26-18 loss to Bristol

sa a end winless tour with 26 18 loss to bristol

JOHANNESBURG – The South Africa ‘A’ tour to Europe ended in disappointment as they suffered a 26-18 loss against Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate.

The home team went into the half-time break leading 13-6, and despite determined attempts to mount a comeback, the SA ‘A’ side tasted defeat once again.

The result means the Springbok hopefuls will return home without a win, following last week’s 28-14 humbling against Munster.

SA A head coach Mzwandile Stick says they can only blame themselves for the defeat.

“We started well, and we were in control, but then we allowed them back in the game. In the beginning, our set pieces were good and we played a nice territorial game. But we ended up playing too much rugby in our half and there were some poor errors from our side.”

The outcome will not make results-obsessed South African fans happy but Stick and the Bok management will be glad to have seen a number of players like Grant Williams and Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu getting invaluable game time, and watching how they adjust to the national team game plan and defensive structure.

“Hopefully the youngsters will learn from the mistakes. Despite this, they have bright careers ahead of them,” added Stick.

The SA A tour was unlikely to be a resounding success, in hindsight.

While the selectors assembled a talented group of players, the time they had together as a team did not allow them to prepare well. As such, they were unable to play according to the expected standards against two understrength sides.

The coach hopes that any future SA A tours would provide a better training schedule

“If we have a similar tour to this again, perhaps we need to have a one-week camp to implement a few things before we leave because. We only had one or two training sessions before the first game and three before the second game,” said Stick.

The team will return to South Africa, while Stick and a few players are expected to remain behind in the UK to join the Springboks ahead of their Test against England next weekend at Twickenham.

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