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England Saxons secure series with second win in South Africa

England Saxons secured a 2-0 series win over South Africa A after a thrilling comeback to snatch a 26-29 win in George.

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 Sale Sharks’ 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 Gloucester Rugby flanker Matt Kvesic crossed to bring the Saxons within four points with 25 minutes still left to play.

With four minutes left, Wasps 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.”

England secured the series win having beaten South Africa A 24-32 at Bloemfontein on Friday 10 June.
 
South Africa A 26 – 29 England

Tries: Taylor (2), Kvesic, Wade
Conversions: Cipriani (3)
Penalties: Cipriani
 
England Saxons match-day 23 against South Africa A
15. Mike Haley (Sale Sharks)
14. Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby, 1 senior England cap)
13. Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
12. Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby, 1 senior England cap)
11. Christian Wade (Wasps, 1 senior England cap)
10. Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks, 14 senior England caps)
9. Dan Robson (Wasps)
 
1. Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs)
2. Tommy Taylor (Sale Sharks, 1 senior England cap)
3. Kieran Brookes (Northampton Saints, 16 senior England caps)
4. Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby, 23 senior England caps) (C)
5. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
6. Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs)
7. Matt Kvesic (Gloucester, 3 senior England caps)
8. Donovan Armand (Exeter Chiefs) 
 
16. George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons)
17. Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks)
18. Jake Cooper-Woolley (Wasps)
19. Mitch Lees (Exeter Chiefs)
20. Sam Jones (Wasps)
21. Micky Young (Newcastle Falcons)
22. Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs)
23. Sam James (Sale Sharks)
 
 

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