It was a poor two games from a team that is supposed to be one step off the Springboks, as they went down to Munster and Bristol.

The South African A team completed a pretty dismal end-of-year-tour with a disappointing 26-18 defeat against the Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate in Bristol on Thursday night.

It was a poor two games in the end from a team that is supposed to be one step off the Springboks, as they went down to Munster in Ireland and then Bristol in England, with both club teams missing a host of players due to international commitments.

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In the match the SA A team got off to a decent start, as an early penalty for offside gave flyhalf Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu a shot at goal, which he duly converted for a 3-0 lead after three minutes.

In the 15th minute a ridiculously long break in play then took place as the TMO decided to have a look at a possible high tackle by SA A lock Jason Jenkins, but due to not having sufficient angles it took almost 10 minutes for a decision to be made, with Jenkins finally sent to the bin.

From the resulting penalty, Bristol went for poles and flyhalf Callum Sheedy easily popped it over from in front to draw the scores level.

Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Sheedy then knocked over a penalty each, with the score locked at 6-all after 24 minutes.

In the 32nd minute Bristol then scored the first try of the game, with some superb handling down the line ending with a top inside ball from fullback Luke Morahan putting wing Gabriel Ibitoye away to score, with Sheedy’s extras putting the hosts 13-6 up.

The SA A team then had a late chance to get on the scoreboard with a scrum on the Bristol 5m, from which they earned a penalty, tapped and went, but then knocked the ball on to end half.

Frantic start

A frantic start to the second half from the SA A team then saw them under the pump early, however they calmed things down, went back to the basics and managed to score their first try.

Finally getting territory in the Bristol half a big maul moved them deep into the Bristol 22m, with the ball then going through a few phases before a short ball to prop Ntuthuko Mchunu saw him through a gap and over to score.

Feinberg-Mngomezulu missed the conversion leaving the score 13-11 after 49 minutes, which then became 16-11 just over two minutes later as Sheedy slotted a penalty after the Boks didn’t roll away at a ruck.

In the 57th minute Bristol then scored their second as they powered into the SA A 22m, set up a number of pick and drives, which ended with prop Yann Thomas forcing his way over, and Sheedy converting to move up 23-11.

Sheedy was enjoying an immaculate night with the boot and nailed his sixth successful kick of the night with another penalty in the 68th minute to put Bristol in an almost unassailable lead at 26-11.

A massive scrum from the SA A pack in the 78th minute then saw a loose ball squirt out the back of the Bristol scrum, allowing replacement loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe to pick up and dot down over the line, with replacement back Johan Goosen adding the extras for the final points of the match.

Scorers

Bristol Bears: Tries – Gabriel Ibitoye, Yann Thomas; Conversions – Callum Sheedy (2); Penalties – Sheedy (4)

South Africa A: Tries – Ntuthuko Mchunu, Sikhumbuzo Notshe; Conversion – Johan Goosen; Penalties – Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (2)