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Potent Paul Roos on track for perfect season

WEEKEND WRAP: Paul Roos made yet another statement when they beat Paarl Gym to secure their 10th consecutive win of the season.

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The Cape Winelands derby staged in Paarl this past Saturday certainly lived up to the hype. Paarl Gym took the fight to Paul Roos from the outset, and the result was in the balance right up to the final play.

In the end, the visitors showed the necessary skill and street-smarts to close out the contest and win 23-17.

Hundreds of Paul Roos students and fans flooded the JA Kriel Field to celebrate a monumental result in isolation, as well as a 10th-consecutive victory for the 2024 season.

It’s a formidable streak, and even more impressive once you consider who Paul Roos have played against over the past few months.

At this stage, they are the leading team in South Africa, and it remains to be seen if any opponent will prevent Corne Uys’s charges from going on to complete a perfect season.

A win against Drostdy was expected, although the 73-10 scoreline certainly served as an early statement of intent.

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Thereafter, Paul Roos claimed important victories against Affies and Waterkloof at the Noord Suid Festival.

Waterkloof have built steadily since that defeat, and recently put 51 points past Menlopark.

When they met Paul Roos in late March, however, they conceded 47.

Few teams have finished within a score of Paul Roos this season.

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They beat Rondebosch by 21 points, Paarl Boys by 15, Grey High by 14, Maritzburg College by 48 and SACS by 18.

Like Affies and Waterkloof, those teams are among the strongest in South Africa.

Monument pushed them close in the festival staged in Kimberley, although Paul Roos still managed to win 29-27.

The victory against Paarl Gym last Saturday represented just the second time in 10 games that they’ve won by six points or fewer.

One would like to believe that they are building towards a showdown with Grey College, who beat Affies 31-27 in Pretoria on Saturday, on 17 August.

It remains to be seen how many of their players will graduate to the SA Schools side, and possibly miss that fixture.

Nevertheless, Paul Roos may continue their winning run until that clash against Grey, who may also lose a few players to national selection.

Paul Roos will travel to Wynberg this Saturday.

The latter side started the season well, and went on to claim a landmark win against Boishaai in Paarl.

They’ve lost momentum since, recording heavy losses to Rondebosch and Boland Landbou at home.

One would expect Paul Roos to give the coming fixture the necessary respect and attention, as it’s their last game before a lengthy break.

From July onwards, they will face Oakdale, Bishops, Stellenberg and Boland Landbou, before taking on Grey College in the season finale.

In the past, the clash against Bishops would have been marked as one of the games of the season.

However, in 2024, Paul Roos and Bishops have racked up contrasting results.

Just as the dream continues for Paul Roos, the nightmare endures for Bishops.

They’ve lost seven consecutive matches – leaking 73 points in the most recent defeat to Boishaai.

They conceded as many as 11 tries, with Boishaai wing Aiden Jacobs dotting down four times.

Elsewhere in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, Milnerton’s bubble finally burst.

Having claimed statement wins against Rondebosch and Bishops earlier in the season, the plucky side travelled to SACS with a chance of securing a rare ‘southern suburbs treble’.

SACS proceeded to make a statement of their own, romping to a 59-19 win.

As far as the unofficial rankings and the top spot are concerned, Paul Roos have the edge on Grey College in a two-horse race.

While Affies, Paarl Gym and Boishaai may continue to boss other opponents in the coming months, they appear destined to finish among the chasing pack.

Improving teams such as Waterkloof, Jeppe, Durban High School and Rondebosch will bear watching, and appear set to finish among the top 10 schools. Klofies have won 11 out of 12 games, while DHS have only lost two out of 12.

A series upsets marked the start of the school season, and there may be one or two more before the year is complete.

Affies have won seven out of 10, going down to Paul Roos, Paarl Gym and most recently Grey College.

They will go into the Pretoria derby with Waterkloof on 20 July as favourites, but would be unwise to take their much-improved opponents lightly.

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