Massey climb SA mountain

West Auckland’s Massey High scored a dramatic 21-20 win against Paul Roos in Stellenbosch to remain unbeaten on their South African tour.

Massey, having beaten St Andrews, Port Rex and Hamilton RFC under 19s, claimed their biggest scalp in beating the school currently ranked number one in South Africa.

It was a tremendous victory for the Kiwis and it was a win characterised by brutal defence and a clinical forward display. Few teams within South Africa go to Stellenbosch and beat Paul Roos. And I can’t recall too many who, trailing 20-8 at halftime, have beaten Paul Roos.

The hosts scored the early points, using the short side effectively to score a well-worked try. Massey hit back immediately with a try and for much of the first half the home team led 10-8. Within five minutes of the break, a penalty and an intercept try extended the lead to 12 points.

The first quarter of the second half saw Massey’s pack dominate. Their mauling was very good and their counter rucking and ball control was as impressive. Surprisingly, their backs were a shambles on attack for most of the match and it was Paul Roos’s back division that broke first time tackles with regularity. Massey, on balance, deserved the win and the rugby gods obviously felt so too as Paul Roos were denied a last minute victory through a failed penalty attempt. It was the second home team miss in the last five minutes.

The small crowd was treated to Massey’s First XV haka as the hosts respectfully took up the challenge. This established the spirit within which the match was played and post the match the hosts were again treated to the traditional Maori haka.

The win also provided New Zealand with an early success against South Africa in the build-up to Saturday’s Tri Nations test between the All Blacks and Springboks.

Massey play Durban High School (DHS) in the opening match of the DHS festival on Friday and complete their SA tour on Sunday.