Paarl Boys’ High extended their winning run over Paarl Gimnasium to four matches with a hard-earned 24-21 victory at Faure Street Stadium on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports for SARugbyMag
It was a nervous finish for Boishaai, who nearly let a 24-7 lead slip. Two converted tries from Gimmies reduced the deficit to three, but they lost possession three minutes into injury time and the final whistle blew.
It was the perfect send-off for Boishaai coach Sean Erasmus, who took the team through a three-year unbeaten run. He will be joining the Golden Lions Rugby Union on 1 November.
While Gim started the stronger side, running the ball with every opportunity and scoring early through Dawid Kellerman, it was the Boishaai defence that won the game, as they repelled the relentless Gim attack with some massive hits and good scrambling.
That defence created their first try when, after a penalty goal from Boishaai fullback Trent Sivertsen, centre Noegh Hayward ripped the ball from Kellerman and sent it wide to wing Javier Farmer, who sprinted in with nobody ahead of him.
Gim were given a boost when Boishaai scrumhalf Simon Carstens was yellow-carded for cynical play but some excellent defending again prevented them from fully capitalising, with Boishaai taking a 10-7 lead into half-time.
The second half continued in a similar fashion, with Boishaai using their kicking game to apply pressure on Gim, who ran it back at their opponents at every opportunity.
Boishaai then created a moment of magic as Sivertsen collected a deep kick, stepped through a couple of tackles before releasing the ball to No 8 Evan Roos, who sprinted 50m for an excellent try.
Soon after, Farmer picked up a loose pass from teammate Estiaan van Rensburg, cutting through a gap in the defence for his second.
At that stage, it looked like Boishaai were set for a comfortable win but Gim then hit back when No 8 Juan Wilson drove over after a maul sucked in Boishaai’s defenders.
Going into the final five minutes, Kellerman made a break and shifted the ball to scrumhalf Bobby Alexander who was tackled just short of the line. However, the WP U18 centre showed great anticipation to pick the ball up from the back of the ruck and make a wide run to score his second try.
With time up on the clock, Gim set up a lineout driving maul in Boishaai’s 22, but some clever play saw the ball trapped, with Boishaai winning the turnover and the match.
Paarl Boys’ High – Tries: Javier Farmer (2), Evan Roos. Conversions: Trent Sivertsen (3). Penalty: Sivertsen.
Paarl Gimnasium – Tries: Dawid Kellerman (2), Juan Wilson. Conversion: Charl Janson (3).