Grey in Big Stellenbosch Victory
The Grey College 1st XV of 2019 is an exceptional team, even for Grey College which, year after year, produces world class schoolboy teams. They showed it again on Saturday when the beat an excellent Paul Roos Gymnasium side 51-28 on the Markötter Field in Stellenbosch, Paul Roos’s home ground.
You may well debate all other positions on the Schools Top 20 but not the No.1 position. That belongs unquestionably to Grey College of Bloemfontein.
The 2019 Paul Roos team has done really well. They won the Sanix Youth Rugby Tournament in Japan and are ranked fourth on the Schools Top 20, behind Grey, Paarl Gim and Paarl Boys’ High. They have now lost three matches this year, all to those three sides ranked above them.
Still, Grey set a record for matches between the two schools, scoring 51 points from nine tries and only three conversions. The score could easily have been bigger. Their performance includes what may just have been the best individual try of 2019 at any level of the game.
The first half suggested a big score but not the vast gap in the scores at the end of the game. After all at half-time Grey led by just one point – 22-21, and the Grey lead had been made possible by a miracle of a try.
The difference between the two teams was essentially Grey’s ability to strike from anywhere on the field and score. This is clearly a matter of skill, physique and fitness but also their confidence and vision to see what is possible.
The match was fast, furious and intense right from the start, and Grey took the lead after just five minutes when powerful wing Marcell Muller took a long, skip pass and raced 40 metres down the left touchline to score in the corner.
A skip pass, from Kade Wolhuter, enabled his captain Ruben Labuschagne to score a try which Wolhuter converted. Wolhuter is an exceptional goal-kicker who converted all four of his side’s tries.
Paul Roos then took the lead when Grey had a man in the sin bin and a penalty gave Paul Roos the chance to bash at the line and then over the line in a bundle, the try credited to eighthman André Smit. Paul Roos led 14-5 after 22 minutes.
Two unconverted tries got Grey their lead back. The first was set up by Muller. From a Grey scrum on the left, they went right and he took a pass from his flyhalf to cut clean through. This set up the attack and JD Odendal scored from a skip pass.
Grey followed this with a try by flank Deon le Roux and, after 31 minutes, Grey led 15-14, three tries to two converted tries.
Back came Paul Roos. From a lineout on the Grey 22, they simply gave the ball to burly Jordan Venter, who had come on seven minutes into the match for injured Calvyn Louis. Venter simply ran straight through to the posts for a try. 21-15.
Then came the miracle.
It was a remarkable passage of play. Grey were attacking deep in the Paul Roos half but scrumhalf Xander Botha broke out down the left and gave to wing Andrew Pegg who was heading for the line when prop (sic) Tielman Nieuwoudt caught him from behind as Pegg swerved to avoid fullback Franco Knoetze. Pegg spilled the ball forward towards the Grey line. Knoetze picked up the ball a metre from his line and started running. He ran and ran, untouched, past five Paul Roos players and on for 99 metres to score a try as Wolhuter and Ronin Daniels gave chase without getting close. Du Plessis’s conversion gave Grey a half-time lead of 22-21.
The second half was about increasing that lead. First Muller scored his second try after Grey had a five-metre scrum. The big Nieuwoudt charged ahead at remarkable speed and gave to flank Duan Ludik who scored.
Paul Roos attacked, Danwich Beukes of Grey intercepted on the left and Ian Small-Smith scored in the right corner. 37-21.
But Paul Roos came back in touch with the Bloemfonteiners. They were attacking the Grey line when Wolhuter threw a long pass to Cade Croy who scored. 37-28 with six minutes to play.
In those six minutes, Grey scored twice. First Du Plessis broke clean through and ran unhampered for 30 metres to the posts. They came straight back on the attack. Muller burst ahead and Grey were hammering at the line. Beukes was close and popped a little pass to substitute scrumhalf Tiaan Fourie who went over for the try whch Knoetze converted.
For Grey College:
Tries: Marcell Muller 2, JD Odendal, Deon le Roux, Franco Knoetze, Duan Ludik, Ian Small-Smith, FC du Plessis, Tiaan Fourie
Cons: Juan-Dee Oliver, FC du Plessis, Franco Knoetze
For Paul Roos:
Tries: Ruben Labuschagne, André Smit, Jordan Venter, Cade Croy
Cons: Kade Wolhuter 4
Paul Roos: 15 Cade Croy, 14 Ronin Daniels, 13 Luke Burger, 12 Ruben Labuschagne, 11 Andrew Pegg, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Xander Botha, 8 André Smit, 7 Calvyn Louis, 6 Arno Heenop, 5 Andreas Wild, 4 Daniel Swart, 3 Corné Weilbach, 2 Meiring Ebersöhn, 1 Paul Spangenberg
Grey College: 15 Franco Knoetze, 14 JD Odendal, 13 Ian Small-Smith, 12 Lesley Botha, 11 Marcell Muller, 10 FC Du Plessis, 9 Juan-Dee Oliver, 8 Janco Cloete, 7 Deon Le Roux, 6 Duan Ludik, 5 Danwich Beukes, 4 Hendré Kramer, 3 Petrus Naudé, 2 Ricardo Fourie, 1 Tielman Nieuwoudt
Coaches: W du Plessis, H Muller
Referee: Nathan Swartz (Western Province Referees’ Society)
Paul Roos vs Grey College Down the Years
1967: Grey won 22-3
1974: Grey won 24-0
1977: Grey won 20-10
1988: Grey won 16-9
1989: Grey won 28-7
1990: Grey won 17-9
1991: Paul Roos won 20-3
1992: Grey won 20-6
1993: Paul Roos won 27-4
1994: Paul Roos won 31-29
1995: Grey won 21-10
1996: Grey won 18-10
1997: Paul Roos won 12-8
1998: Grey won 23-15
1999: Grey won 29-26
2000: Grey won 42-13
2001: Grey won 15-6
2002: Grey won 19-8
2003: Grey won 18-17
2004: Grey won 24-23 and Paul Roos won 21-18
2005: Grey won 16-11
2006: Paul Roos won 16-11
2007: Grey won 40-14
2008: Grey won 47-15
2009: Paul Roos won 9-3
2010: Grey won 41-29
2011: Grey won 36-35
2012: Grey won 33-23
2013: Grey won 40-8
2014: Grey won 25-20
2015: Paul Roos won 19-12
2016: Grey won 34-32
2017: Grey won 30-28
2018: Grey won 28-26
2019: Grey won51-28