Gutsy SACS Give Paarl Gim a Scare
The South African College High School (SACS) produced an excellent performance against the highly-ranked Paarl Gimnasium team. SACS led 19-12 at half-time and 19-17 with twenty-five minutes to go, only to succumb 41-19.
Paarl Gim were on the attack from the outset but SACS defended their phase play well. Ten minutes in Gim got their much vaunted maul going for the first time. From that they hit two of their heavy forward pods before reversing play back blind to left-wing Stravino Jacobs, who sliced through the SACS defence to score. Flyhalf Jandré Burger converted.
SACS won the kick-off back and put together some phases which resulted in a penalty converted by debutant flyhalf Nicholas Haasbroek. SACS used a contestable kick from the kick-off and again won the ball back. An excellent passage of phase play saw them awarded another penalty, which Haasbroek duly converted.
On twenty-four minutes Gim again used their formidable formula, which for years has proved so difficult to stop. They make rugby look like such an easy game when their massive forward pods get consecutive gain-line carries before unleashing their speedy backs. Outside centre Ethan James was elusive all game and it was him who set up win Curwin Gertse for their second try.
SACS outside centre Rihaz Fredericks carried well soon after and the hosts converted another penalty. Four minutes later Haasbroek nailed his fourth of the half to tie the scores up. On the stroke of half-time fullback Duran Koevort snapped up a loose ball, much as he did the week before, and raced clear. He had lots of work to do but beat the cover brilliantly to score. Haasbroek kicked the conversion from the touchline and SACS were in Dreamland, leading the mighty Paarl Gim 19-12 as the referee’s whistle sounded.
Emotions ran high as thoughts raced back to 2017 when SACS had come from 19-nil down at half-time to beat Paarl Gim 22-19. Pieter Rossouw raced onto the field to give his team some stern words.
Thankfully for Gim, scrumhalf Bobby Alexander took the bull by the horns and scored soon after the interval. Burger missed the conversion and SACS still had the lead with twenty-five mnites to go! Gim were rampant though and were held up over the line twice before Burger got the first of his two tries of the half as he glided through from a midfield scrum.
At 24-19 down SACS had an excellent opportunity to tie the scores up as they attacked the blindside after a lineout only for the final pass to go awry. From then on SACS were struggling to contain wave after wave of Paarl Gim attack. Bobby Alexander using the platform laid by his pack to secure his second-half hat-trick with just over ten minutes to go.
Burger, who had a bad day with the boot, put the final nail in SACS’s coffin as he grabbed his second try with only two minutes remaining. It was a comfortable win in the end on the scoreboard for Paarl Gim but SACS must be commended for their yeoman effort on the day.
Both teams have tough encounters again next week as Gim travel to the farm to face Boland Landbou while SACS host archrivals Wynberg Boys’ High in a televised FNB Classic Clash (kick-off 12.15)
Try: Duran Koevort
Con: Nicholas Haasbroek
Pens: Haasbroek 4
Gor Paarl Gimnasium:
Tries: Bobby Alexander 3, Jandré Burger 2, Stravino Jacobs, Curwin Gertse
Conversions: Burger 3