It was a tense and tough 70 minutes of premier schoolboy rugby in the Faure Street Stadium in Paarl, but Paarl Boys’ High is still the top team in Paarl as well as in South Africa for 2017.
Boys’ High came out on top 18-13 against Paarl Gimnasium in their annual Premier Interschools. The game is without a doubt the biggest school match in the world with more than 25 000 attending the match.
Not even the Super Rugby final in Johannesburg between the Lions and Crusaders with the same kick-off time managed to steal any thunder from this prestigious event.
Boys’ High also finished their South African season unbeaten for a third successive season with this victory. Their last defeat on South African soil came against Marlow Landbou back in 2014. Boys’ High, however, lost earlier this year during their New Zealand tour against Christchurch Boys’ High (38-36).
The first half of the match belonged to Gimmies and they enjoyed a narrow 10-8 lead at the break. Gimmies almost drew first blood in the game after launching an attack from within their own 22 with captain and fullback, Muller du Plessis, creating an overlap with his quick feet. Eightman, Henco Martins, almost rounded off the move, but was just outsprinted by Boys’ High captain and fullback, Thaakier Abrahams.
Boys’ High flyhalf, Abner van Reenen, opened the scoring with a penalty. Shortly afterwards winger Luka Ferreira went over in the corner for a try and it seemed for a few minutes that Boys’ High have taken control of the match.Gimmies’ flyhalf, Ruben Scholtz, also opened his side’s scoring with a penalty. After some good work by winger Stravino Jacobs captain, Du Plessis crossed the line. Scholtz converted to give Gimmies the lead of 10-8 at the break.
It was quite clear that Boys’ High missed the physical presence of their regular captain, Francke Horn, as well as loose forward Evan Roos in their pack. Gimmies’ pack of forwards controlled things upfront with burly lock Adriaan Ludick, hooker Chris Rossouw and flanker Corné Uys leading the onslaught.
When Gimmies got their rolling maul on they took Boy’s High for a game drive of the Faure Street Stadium turf of at least 20 meters at a time.
Boys’ High centre Divan Enslin scored early in the second half to help his side retake the lead at 13-10. Van Reenen converted to stretch the lead to 15-10. Gimmies had a few opportunities after this, but decided to rather try and setup some rolling mauls from penalties than taking a shot at goal. Boys’ High defence remained rock-solid which proofed telling.
Scholtz and Van Reenen exchanged penalty goals to take the score to 18-13. Gimmies had a great opportunity for glory with the final movement of the game as they kicked for touch after being awarded a penalty by referee, Rasta Rasivhenge. The lineout was lost and Boys’ High secured their third successive victory in this prestigious Premier Interschools clash by winning 18-13.
Paarl Boys’ High 18 (8) – Tries: Luka Ferreira, Divan Enslin. Conversion: Abner van Reenen. Penalties: Van Reenen. Paarl Gimnasium 13 (10) –Try: Muller du Plessis. Conversion: Ruben Scholtz. Penalties: Scholtz (2).