The two teams were selected after the U18 Craven Week and gave their all, delivering a great spectacle despite their lack of time together on the training field. The discipline was good for both sides, while the errors were to be be expected.
Ultimately it was a great advertisement for South African schools rugby and the result was in the balance right until the final minute, when JC Mars (fullback) scored a wonderful try to secure the win for SA Schools.
The SA Schools side scored twice towards the end of the first half to take the lead at the break after the 'A' team were leading by 14-7 with 10 minutes left in the opening stanza.
Siphosethu Mnebelele (hooker) got the scoreboard going with a great try after a superb run by SA Schools captain and No 8 JJ Theron, but the 'A' team hit back three minutes later when De Wet-Grant Fourie (flanker) crashed over after a strong rolling maul.
The 'A' team's maul was hard to stop and when the SA Schools side did so illegally in the 24th minute, the referee had little option but to award a penalty try, which put the 'A' team in the lead by 14-7.
SA Schools then knuckled down as Jacobus Grobbelaar (lock), from a strong run by Mnebelele, and Theron crossed for tries to hand their team the lead at the break.
Speedster Cheswill Jooste made it 21-19 when he scored shortly after the break for the 'A' team, but then Ruan Welman (replacement hooker) got the first of his two tries to make it a seven-point game again.
But scores were level a few minutes later after a lovely try from Ceano Everson (replacement scrumhalf) set up by a strong run by outside centre Benito Goeda.
Welman's second try gave the SA Schools team a 31-26 lead but the 'A' side didn't give up and were in a position to score late in the game, but they lost the ball and Mars did the damage at the other end of the field to seal a great game of rugby.
SA Schools 36 (21) - Tries: Siphosethu Mnebelele, Jacobus Grobbelaar, JJ Theron, Ruan Welman (2), JC Mars. Conversions: Ian van der Merwe (3).
SA Schools 'A' 26 (14) - Tries: De Wet-Grant Fourie, Penalty Try, Cheswill Jooste, Ceano Everson. Conversions: Yaqeen Ahmed, Dominic Malgas.