Paul Roos Gymnasium completed a superb 39-24 win against Grey High in a highlight-filled Sportsmans Warehouse Premier Interschools battle at the Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch on Saturday, 15 April.
Both sides threw the kitchen sink at each other in a topsy turvy derby where a total of 10 tries were scored. This produced a thoroughly entertaining back and forth encounter throughout the 70 minutes
In the end, Paul Roos Gymnasium just had too much in the tank, as they showed their mettle on their hallowed home turf. A combination of brilliant mauling from the forwards and silky speed and clinical finishing from the backs was instrumental in the victory. Paul Roos Gym hooker, Christiaan de Villers, was awarded with the player of the match, scoring a brace for his side.
The opening minutes of the match saw both Paul Roos Gymnasium and Grey High show attacking intent in a lively opening at the Markotter stadium.
The hosts scored the first points of the match through a fantastic backline move that was finished by right winger, Keehan Etson.
Etson wiggled his way past four defenders before dotting down in the corner to make it 5-0 to the boys from Stellenbosch.
Grey did not lie down, and levelled the score after flanker, Reece Miles, made a sniping break into Paul Roos 22. After a couple of phases, Miles eventually made the opportunity count as he drove over from close range. Jordan Strydom converted to give Grey a 7-5 lead.
Grey supporters were up from their seats when head boy and full back, Joshua Bands, scored in the left-hand corner to extend the lead to 12-5 after 22 minutes. It was a double blow to Paul Roos, directly after their outside centre, Samuel Badenhorst was sent to the sin bin.
Tempers were heated on the field between two fierce rivals, with two extra yellow cards being given to Paul Roos’ Keehan Etson and Truspe Schoeman just before half-time. A total of four yellow cards were dished out in the first half.
Paul Roos’ fullback, Declan Croy, slotted a penalty before half-time to narrow the gap to 12-8 at the half-time break.
The hosts made the perfect start to the second half with hooker, Christiaan de Villers going after a marauding rolling maul to give Paul Roos the lead. Croy converted as Paul Roos took a 15-12 lead. The try was extra salt to Grey’s wound, who lost inside centre, Tobias Nota, who was sent off after a dangerous tackle.
Grey’s spirit and determination was apparent when left-winger, Kaiden Titus, showed strength to dot down in the corner as the boys from Gqeberha retook a slender two points lead at 17-15.
The lead did not last long as Paul Roos Gym fought right back through consistent phases of play with De Villers getting his brace and his side’s third try of the match. Croy converted to make it 22-17.
Only 5 minutes later, Grey lock, De Wet Goedhals, capped off a superb match with his side’s fourth try to draw the scores level at 22-22. Strydom converted a crucial kick to give his side a narrow two-point lead with 17 minutes to go.
De Villers continued a stellar game to give the maroon machine the advantage once again, this time with a superb assist to tighthead prop, Ryan Jack. Jack took the opportunity with a smile as he dotted down under the posts. Croy completed his third conversion to give Paul Roos a 29-24 lead.
The drama intensified in the last 10 minutes as Paul Roos captain, Andreas Oosthuizen was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle – as he became the sixth player to be sent off.
This though did not stop Paul Roos as flyhalf, Lee-Jay Petersen and left winger, Keenan Stoffels, showed their magic to seal the win.
Sportsmans Warehouse Man of the Match:
Christiaan de Villers (hooker – Paul Roos Gymnasium)
For Paul Roos Gymnasium 39 (8)
Tries: Keehan Etson, Christiaan de Villiers (2), Ryan Jack, Lee-Jay Petersen, Keenan Stoffels
Cons: Declan Croy (3/6)
Pens: Declan Croy (1/1)
Yellow cards: Truspe Schoeman, Samuel Badenhorst (2), Keehan Etson, Andreas Oosthuizen
For Grey High: 24 (12)
Tries: Reece Miles, Joshua Bands, Kaiden Titus, De Wet Goedhals
Cons: Jordan Strydom (2/4)
Yellow cards: Imaani Pemba, Tobias Nota
Paul Roos Gymnasium:
15. Declan Croy, 14. Keehan Etson, 13. Samuel Badenhorst, 12. Phillip Groenewald, 11. Keenan Stoffels, 10. Lee-Jay Petersen, 9. Zeke January, 8. Rueben Kruger, 7. AJ Fourie, 6. Andreas Oosthuizen, 5. Riley Norton, 4. Truspe Schoeman, 3. Ryan Jack, 2. Christiaan de Villiers, 1. Olivier Reid.
15. Joshua Bands, 14. Jack Colett, 13. Dylan Garrod, 12. Tobias Nota, 11. Kaiden Titus, 10. Jordan Strydom, 9. Aza Ncula, 8. Mark Brombacher, 7. Imaani Pemba, 6. Reece Miles, 5. DeWet Goedhals, 4. Steven Lee, 3. Aiden Wilkinson, 2. Chad Human 1. Daniel de Lange.
Image: STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA – APRIL 15: Tobias Nota of Grey High School during the Sportsmans Warehouse Premier Interschools rugby match between Paul Roos Gymnasium and Grey High School at Paul Roos Gymnasium on April 15, 2023 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images)