A tale of two halves ends in ecstasy for Paarl Gimnasium as they beat bitter rivals Paarl Boys’ High by 20 points to 17 at Faure Stadium in a Sportsmans Warehouse Premier Interschools clash on the 5th of August 2023.
A high-intensity start from Paarl Boys’ High was met with great resilience from the hosts early on. The opening 16 minutes of the half were well contested by both teams. The hosts, however, were the first to draw blood after a well-worked move from a lineout just outside the 22-metre line of Boishaai. A sniping break by flyhalf and captain Kyle Smith was well supported by his halfback partner, Dawid Kotze, who dived over for his team’s first try. The conversion by Smith was successful. Paarl Gimnasium (Gim) led 7-0 with 18 minutes played.
Paarl Gim continued on the front foot after their opening try. With Gim on the attack, Boishaai infringed at the breakdown, which gave Paarl Gim pivot Smith a chance to kick for goal. His penalty attempt was a good one from 35 metres out. Paarl Gim had all the momentum late in the half, extending their lead to 10 points to nil with 30 minutes played.
Kyle Smith didn’t have to wait long to get his second penalty attempt at goal as he drove Boishaai back into their half with a well-educated boot. Boishaai eighth man Divan Fuller carried hard into contact deep in his own 22-metre area but was adjudged to have led into contact with his forearm. Kyle Smith pointed to the posts and calmly stepped up to slot his second penalty of the afternoon. Paarl Gim went into halftime with a 13-0 lead over their neighbours. Paarl Boys’ will have to fight hard to get back into the game in the second half.
Paarl Gim continued where they left off in the first half. Kyle Smith’s educated boot kept driving Boishaai back into their half and forcing them to play from deep. Paarl Gim drove home their constant pressure, which eventually paid dividends with 44 minutes played. A third wave of attack broke the Boishaai defence as Paarl Gim outside centre Hennie Otto powered his way over for the second try of the afternoon. Smith kept his 100% record intact with another successful conversion. Paarl Gim led by 20 points to nil.
You can’t count this Paarl Boys’ High team out, even when they’re 20 points down. Boishaai finally found the direct running rugby that could get them back into the game. It was playmaker and fullback JC Mars who took matters into his own hands with a clean break inside Paarl Gim’s half and dived over in the corner. Inside Centre Daniel van der Merwe was unsuccessful with the conversion from against the touch line. Paarl Boys’ High 5-20 Paarl Gim, with 25 minutes left in the game.
Paarl Boys’ High seemed to have found their rhythm after their opening score as momentum swung their way. A forward dominated phase of pressure resulted in eighth man Divan Fuller rumbling through Paarl Gim defence and scoring next to the uprights. Van Der Merwe‘s conversion was successful. Paarl Boys’ High right back in the contest with 13 minutes remaining in the game. Paarl Boys’ High 12-20 Paarl Gim.
With tensions running high and adrenaline flowing through Boishaai veins, they continued to build pressure on Paarl Gim. Boishaai left winger Jameel De Jongh showed his class and excellent finishing ability to score his team’s third try. Van Der Merwe’s conversion from the touch line was unsuccessful. Paarl Boys’ High 17-20 Paarl Gim.
The comeback was not to be for Boishaai as Paarl Gim won a penalty with time up on the clock and Kyle Smith stepped up to try and convert the penalty. His kick was unsuccessful but his team had done enough to hold onto the victory and write their names into the history books of this famous interschools rugby derby. Paarl Gim walk away victors 20 points to 17.
SupaQuick Man of the Match: Kyle Smith, Flyhalf and Captain of Paarl Gim
For Paarl Gim
Tries: Dawid Kotze; Hennie Otto
Cons: 2/2: Kyle Smith
Pens: 2/3: Kyle Smith
For Paarl Boys
Tries: JC Mars; Divan Fuller; Jameel De Jongh
Cons: 1/3 Daniel van der Merwe
Paul Gim: 15 Tazreeq Moerat, 14 Freek de Kock, 13 Hennie Otto, 12 Kobus Blanckenberg, 11 Pieter-Nel Du Plessis, 10 Kyle Smith, 9 Dawid Kotzé, 8 Nicus Van Coller, 7 Louw Du Toit, 6 Adruan Kotze, 5 Marco Steyn, 4 Danio Botha, 3 Nicholas Crous, 2 Jannie Grobbelaar, 1 Xander Mynhardt
Paarl Boys: 1. Michael Pretorius 2. Henko Ben Odendaal 3. Alfie Holm 4. Michael Versfeld 5. Van Heerden Pretorius 6. Rubin Dames 7. Chris Nel 8. Divan Fuller 9. Juan Loots 10. Ruan van Willing 11. Jameel de Jongh 12. Daniel vd Merwe 13. Bryan Burger 14. Scott Nel 15. JC Mars
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Photo 1: Kobus Blanckenberg from Paarl Gymnasium
Photographer: Perti Oeschger (Gallo Images)