It was a case of so close, yet so far for Paul Roos Gimnasium in their Premier Interschools clash Saturday against Paarl Gymnasium at the Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch.
Gimmies bagged their third successive victory in this annual clash by 20-19 thanks to a try by a hooker, Chris Rossouw, three minutes after the hooter sounded. Rossouw, the son of the former Springbok hooker with the same name, scored from a rolling maul in the 73rd minute of the match to secure the victory.
The teams weighed each other up for the first 20 minutes before Paul Roos’ scrumhalf, Gerado Jaars, scored the opening try in the 21st minute of the match. Jaars dived over beneath the uprights after a counter attack started by the fullback, Colia Louis. Both teams went into the epic clash unbeaten.
Rossouw scored the first of his two tries in the match from a planned line-out move to open his side’s account. Paul Roos-led 7-5 at the break. In the second half, the two teams took their supporters on a see-saw ride as the lead changed a few times.
Paarl Gimnasium took the lead after Paul Roos’ lock Breyten Maritz was yellow carded for bringing down a rolling maul that saw Gim win about 22 meters. From the resulting penalty, which Gimmies kicked to touch their lock Adriaan Ludick crashed over after another rolling maul.
The visitor’s most dangerous attacking method was their rolling mauls which Paul Roos had no answer to. Paul Roos took the lead again after their flyhalf, Juan Mostert, kept the defense guessing and outside the centre, Brendan Venter, ran the perfect line to cross the try line to give their side a 14-12 lead.
Venter is like Rossouw, the son of one of the World Cup Champion Springboks of 1995. Venter’s father, also Brendan, is currently part of the Boks’ management team.
Mostert and his halfback partner, Jaars, was the best players on the field for the home side. Paarl Gimnasium again took the lead after center Ruben Scholtz slotted a penalty with only seven minutes left in the match.
The narrow lead of 15-14 was, however, short-lived as replacement Ryno Niemand caught the ball from the kick-off to score which gave Paul Roos a 19-15 lead. Paarl Gim had the last laugh when Rossouw crashed over for his second try to secure the victory.
Paarl Gimnasium 20 (5) – Tries: Chris Rossouw (2), Adriaan Ludick. Conversion: Ruben Scholtz. Penalty: Scholtz. Paul Roos Gimnasium 19 (7) – Tries: Gerado Jaars, Brendan Venter, Ryno Niemand. Conversions: Colia Louis (2).