Nothing could separate Hoërskool Outeniqua and Paarl Gimnasium (Gim) in a tense Sportmans Warehouse Premier Interschools encounter that ended 10-10 in George on Saturday, July 22.
A combination of hard-nosed defence and true grit saw Hoërskool Outeniqua keep Paarl Gimnasium at bay in a gruelling clash in front of their home fans.
The Kwaggas had been eagerly anticipating this encounter against their Boland rivals in their centenary year. Outeniqua had the better of the first half, whilst Paarl Gim showed superiority in the second half.
Paarl Gimnasium right-winger, Freek de Kock, was named as the Player of the Match after his superb solo-try decisively levelled the match.
The match was a superb illustration of how desperate defence from the Kwaggas and determined and robust attacking play from Paarl Gim cancelled each other out on the day.
Earlier on, the hosts scored the first try of the match when right wing, JJ Daters, went over in the corner after a chip kick from fullback, JT Strydom, fell into Daters’ hands. He still had work to do as he shrugged off Paarl Gim tacklers with ease. Strydom slotted the conversion to give the hosts a 7-0 lead after 10 minutes.
This opening score gave the crowd more reason to sing and cheer as the Kwaggas had momentum on their side. Daters had a fantastic first half and his powerful run almost resulted in another score for Outeniqua on a muddy field, which made running rugby the exception rather than the norm.
Paarl Gimnasium’s forwards showed that they would not stand back in this derby and showed intent with a dangerous rolling maul. The Kwaggas defence though kept the visitors at bay in the first 15 minutes. This was a sign of things to come for the entire 70 minutes of the match.
Paarl Gim had a brilliant chance to get on the scoreboard in the 26th minute after a turn over and quick hands from the backline sent outside centre, Hennie Otto, on a breakaway. His pass to Pieter-Nel du Plessis was just a timed a little too late, as Daters could then get enough time to force Du Plessis over the sideline.
Gim’s forward pack continued with their rolling maul game plan, but once again the Kwaggas stood firm for the last five minutes with heroic defence to take a 7-0 lead into the half-time break.
Paarl Gimnasium made a bright start to the second-half after constant pressure saw tighthead prop, Nicholas Crous, crash over after 38 minutes to cut the deficit to 2 points. Kyle Smith missed the conversion as the score stayed at 7-5.
Strydom answered right back for Outeniqua with a cooly converted penalty to take the score to 10-5 in favour of the hosts.
The match was truly at in the balance with 25 minutes to go as a brilliant solo run from Paarl Gim right-winger, Freek de Kock saw him slice through the defence to level the score at 10-10.
Paarl Gim fly-half, Kyle Smith, missed two conversions and a penalty in difficult kicking conditions as Gim could not capitalise on their territorial advantage in the last 20 minutes of the match.
Sportsmans Warehouse Man of the Match: Freek de Kock (Paarl Gymnasium)
For Hoërskool Outeniqua: 10 (7)
Tries: JJ Daters
Cons: JT Strydom
Pens: JT Strydom
For Paarl Gimnasium: 10 (0)
Tries: Nicholas Crous, Freek de Kock
15. JT Strydom, 14. JJ Daters, 13. Luca Potgieter, 12. Estiaan Cronje, 11. Ashwen Damons, 10. Andrew Stopforth, 9. Jamil Pretorius, 8. Brendan Gouws, 7. Dewald Gerber, 6. Jeffwin Wesso. 5. Jayden Potgieter, 4. Michael Cronje, 3. Jean Kleynhans, 2. Nathan Smith, 1. Ruan Swart.
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. Louw du Toit, 6. Adruan Kotze, 5. Marco Steyn, 4. Danio Botha, 3. Nicholas Crous, 2. Dean Louw, 1. Xander Mynhardt.
Photographer = Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
Player of the match Freek de Kock from Paarl Gymnasium