Paul Roos captain and scrumhalf Rick Schroeder proved to be the home side’s hero in an emphatic 47-36 victory over Paarl Gym.
Gym managed to stun the visitors early on when hooker Johan Norman rounded off a neat movement to score. Paul Roos’s response was immediate and enigmatic fullback Craig Barry sauntered through for his try.
Paarl Gym took the game to their hosts in the first half and it was Norman who spearheaded the charge, thundering over for his second try of the match. Christopher Bosch then crossed again for the visitors after some impressive inter-play from his team-mates, and with Van Wyk on target with his conversions Gym held a 19-7 lead.
Barry led the fight-back and scored his second of the afternoon, converted by Wouter van Niekerk to leave the score at 19-14 just before the interval. Once again Paul Roos surged upfield and industrious scrumhalf Schroeder scored his first try and at the break the scores were locked at 19 apiece.
The second half started as frenetic as the first and Paarl Gym launched attack after attack, but some stellar defence kept the Gym side out. After a sequence of phases the ball was turned over in the hosts’ half and found its way to speedster Tshotsho Mbovana who streaked down the touchline to score, giving the home side the lead for the first time in the encounter. From then on the Stellenbosch outfit controlled the tempo of the game.
As the match wore on the Paul Roos pack went from strength to strength which allowed Schreuder to control matters from the base of the scrum and score a hat-trick. Schreuder was the stand-out player in the encounter while the Paarl Gym’s No 8 JC Erasmus was outstanding for the visitors.
It was an entertaining game that produced 12 sparkling tries and close to 90 points on the day.
By Gareth Wright