Paarl Gym hope to avenge last year’s surprising home loss to Wynberg when the two sides clash on Saturday.
The corresponding fixture saw Wynberg’s gifted flyhalf Kieran Goss deliver a match-winning (15-12) performance that had losing coach Nico Momsen singing his praises. ‘That bloke killed us,’ said Momsen, who has since stepped down to coach the U16A team.
Eighteen-year-old Goss, who matriculated last year, caught the eye of the Sharks, who wasted no time in snapping up his services from under the noses of Western Province, and is currently in the U21 squad and the only junior playing club rugby for Collegians.
Sadly, though, this year’s vintage is a far cry from last year’s champion XV, viewed by many as one of the finest sides ever produced by this proud rugby school. In 2009, Wynberg delivered their finest form in just under a decade, reclaiming long overdue bragging rights as the top team of the four traditional southern suburbs boys’ schools, netting five wins from six with doubles over SACS and Rondebosch and a win apiece with Bishops.
‘After the highs of last year 2010 was always going to be a little different,’ said coach Gerry Posthumus. ‘We have had an exceptionally tough start to the year having played Paul Roos, Dale College, St Andrew’s, Drostdy, Paarl Boys, Grey PE and Duineveld. While we’ve managed wins over Drostdy, St Charles and St Benedict’s, we lost the others in what has been a sharp learning curve for a relatively young and inexperienced side from the year who did so well because they been together as a side for four years coming through the age groups.
‘But where we may lack on class we make up for in spirit. This is a bunch of boys ready to give it their all whenever they pull on the jersey. We’ve suffered some massive blows on the injury front and been on the receiving end of a huge smack last weekend away to Grey PE, but the morale amongst the players has stayed focused.’
Gym, by contrast, are a far better side from that of 2009, a year that saw them lose their status as the top-ranked Cape school, suffering defeats to all three of their main rivals – Boland Landbou, Paul Roos and Paarl Boys – and a couple more. So far this season, barring defeats to Waterkloof (12-10) and Grey Bloem (23-12), Gym have been really promising and head into this encounter on a high after downing Paul Roos 30-27 last weekend.
‘We’ve been playing nicely,’ said coach Christoff Lötter. ‘That doesn’t mean we come to Wynberg expecting an easy game. Our opponents have never backed off against us. They’re a team who always show fighting qualities right to the end, especially on their home field. We’re not reading too much into their huge loss against Grey PE, we don’t look at scores because on any given day one of the premier sides can beat the other.’
By Mike de Bruyn