The bragging rights return to Paarl as Paarl Gimnasium (Gim) beat Paul Roos 24 -19 in front of their home crowd in their Sportsmans Warehouse Premier Interschools derby on the 6th of May 2023.
A windy, overcast Stellenbosch day welcomed the visitors from Paarl Gim as they made the journey to the famous Markotter Stadium of Paul Roos. After a scrappy start from both teams, it was the home side that hit their stride earlier than the visitors and began to benefit the most from territory and possession early on. An opportunity early in the match to open the scoring was gifted to Paul Roos pivot Leejay Peterson from the kicking tee but the flyhalf did not convert the penalty.
The first try came soon after the missed opportunity. Peterson found touch inside the red zone of Paarl Gim after Gim infringed at ruck time. A well set maul brought Paul Roos within 5 meters. The maroon machines scrumhalf Zeke January produced a moment of great vision as he slipped a short inside ball to his right winger Keehan Etson who dotted down for the first try of the encounter. Peterson slotted the conversion with ease, Paul Roos go 7 – 0 up with 10 minutes played.
Paarl Gim sprung into life after conceding and fought back using the power of their pack to do so. Paarl Gim strung a period of phases together after regaining possession shortly after the restart. The grunt of their forward pack was evident as a go-to weapon of theirs and drove them well into the 22m of Paul Roos and it was tighthead prop, Nicholas Crous who scored to bring his team back into the contest. Paarl Gim, Flyhalf, Kyle Smith missed the conversion. Paul Roos 7 – 5 Paarl Gim, 15 minutes played.
Momentum was now well in Paarl Gim’s favour as they turned up the pressure on Paul Roos. Phase after phase, switching sides with precise accuracy and great running lines. Paarl Gim’s co-vice-captain Danio Botha was the man to break through the Paul Roos defense and dived over for his team’s second try. Kyle Smith added the two points as Paarl Gim led for the first time in the match 12 – 7 with 21 minutes played.
Paul Roos answered back to Paarl Gim’s dominance with a rare opportunity to counter attack from deep. A brilliant solo effort by left winger Declan Croy who beat a handful of defenders down the far touch line led him to score a cracker of a try in the corner. Peterson missed the conversion from up against the touchline. The scores drew level at 12 all with 30 minutes played.
The first half action was not over as the pendulum swung back in favour of the visitors just before the break as Paarl Gim’s play was physical and clinical. Paarl Gim’s scrumhalf put his left winger Pieter-Nel Du Plessis into space and he dived over almost untouched. The conversion was a good one by Kyle Smith. Paarl Gim went into the break 19 – 12 in the lead.
The second half brought about much of the same as momentum swayed between the two sides up until the 53rd minute of the game when a Paul Roos maul was brought down illegally by Paarl Gim flanker Eduan Vosloo which resulted in a yellow card and penalty being awarded. Paul Roos chose to go for touch and set up another maul. Their maul paid dividends as number 5 lock Jesse Stegehuis trundled his way over for a try. Peterson added the two points, leaving the game perfectly poised at 19 all with 15 minutes left.
The tides turned once more back in favour of Paarl Gim as sustained pressure and astute game management in the Paul Roos half brought about a brace of tries for Paarl Gim’s left winger Pieter-Nel Du Plessis as he went over for his second in the far corner. Kyle Smith missed the touchline conversion giving Paarl Gim a five point lead with 6 minutes remaining.
Flashbacks from last year’s last minute heroics by Paul Roos started to appear as the maroon machine threw everything at the men from Paarl in the dying minutes of the game. Paarl Gim was not to be heartbroken this time however as they held on in a thrilling finish at the Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch. Paarl Gim walked away deserved victors 24 – 19.
IMAGE: Keenan Stoffels from Paul Roos (Photo by Ashley Vlotman)
SupaQuick Man of the Match: Paarl Gim lock and co-captain, Danio Botha.
For Paul Roos
Tries: Keehan Etson, Declan Croy, Jesse Stegehuis.
Cons: Leejay Peterson – 2/3
Pens: Leejay Peterson – 0/1
For Paarl Gim
Tries: Nicholas Crous, Danio Botha, Pieter-Nel Du Plessis (2)
Cons: Kyle Smith – 2/4
Yellow Card: Eduan Vosloo
Paul Roos: 15 Keenan Soffels, 14 Keehan Etson, 13 Samuel Badenhorst, 12 Phillip Groenewald, 11 Declan Croy, 10 Leejay Petersen, 9 Zeke January, 8 Ruben Kruger, 7 Riley Norton, 6 Malan Erasmus, 5 Jesse Stegehuis, 4 Truspe Schoeman, 3 Ryan Jack, 2 Christian de Villiers, 1 Oliver Reid
Paarl Gim: 15 Tazreeq Moerat, 14 Freek De Kock, 13 Hennie Otto, 12 Kobus Blanckenberg, 11 Pieter-Nel Du Plessis, 10 Kyle Smith, 9 Dawid Kotze, 8 Nicus Van Coller, 7 Eduan Vosloo, 6 Adruan Kotze, 5 Marco Steyn, 4 Danio Botha, 3 Nicholas Crous, 2 Jannie Grobbelaar, 1 Xander Mynhardt