Paarl Gym scored 15 tries to demolish Wynberg 101-0 in possibly the most one-sided Western Cape 1st XV match ever.
OK, so the Wynberg XV has been crippled by injuries to key players who were part of last season’s champion side that had been labelled by coach Gerry Posthumus as being jointly the finest ever produced by this proud rugby school, but where was the passion for the jersey on this occasion? Frankly, there wasn’t any, it’s that simple. Gym came here expecting a tough fight and never got one. But let’s not detract from what for them was a magnificent 15-man effort of total rugby bordering on perfection.
But coach Christoff Lötter made it clear at the post-match interview that his side should not forget to keep both feet firmly rooted to the ground.
‘Yes, this was a one-sided performance, but we must be humble to ourselves and our opponents Wynberg, who are always a tough proposition, especially on home ground. But my team did themselves and their school proud with a wonderful game of structured rugby.’
His Wynberg counterpart was clearly shaken at the end of it all.
‘No excuses, this Gym side was in a different class to us,’ said Posthumus. ‘This was not our finest hour, but we just have to pick up the pieces and move onto the next game. Obviously I’m disappointed with our performance and so are the players…that are how it goes sometimes.’
From the moment Gym opened their scoring account in the first minute, one could sense that those in attendance were about to witness something special from a gifted XV. Eight tries in total came in the first 35 minutes and seven more followed in the second half. Gym’s tackling and defence, when required, was a standout feature that set the tone. The way Gym held their structures, the way they built attacks, the handling of both backs and forwards, and the big hits which led to turnovers – just about every facet of their play was on song as they ran the home side ragged.
Leading 54-0 at the break, Coach Lötter made a point at the break to stress upon his chargers that a good team keeps its feet on the pedal and tries to emulate the same intensity and drive for the next half. And so they responded, and it was great to here the players encouraging one another as they pressed home the advantage before making a determined effort to get past the 100-point mark, which they achieved in the final with a converted try scored by hooker Jandré Conradie for his side’s 15th and final try of the match. Scrumhalf Willie Viljoen enjoyed a field day with the boot, slotting 13 of the five tries for a personal haul of 26 points to cap a fine performance behind a marauding pack of forwards who met with little or no resistance.
The backs ran at pace to net themselves 12 five-pointers and the pack-men nabbed three. While the entire team can put their hands up for the man-of-the-match award, special performances were delivered by fullback Jacques Botha who scored twice and created three, strong-running centre Kobus van Wyk who netted three tries with power finishing and left-wing Conrad Laubscher, who helped himself to four scores with deadly finishing every time he put hand to ball. Amongst the forwards, the front row of Du Toit Genis, Conradie and Mynardt Kitshoff savaged their opposite numbers while locks Neil Claassen and Stephan were an unstoppable force on their throws-ins. And the loose trio of Gideon Morris, Ruan Mouton and No 8 Carlo Theron turned over ball at the breakdowns at will whilst providing links between packs and forwards in open play.
For Wynberg, eightsman Sikhumbuzo Notshe is about the only chap who can walk away from this massacre with his head held after a brave effort in confronting a superior opposition and also producing some telling breaks with no support to follow before departing injured late on.
Gym next play away to SACS, which, after this result, could see another century mark breached when you consider just how poor SACS have been so far this season. Wynberg are off to in-form Bishops and no doubt, after two huge losses and an ever increasing injury count, can expect no favours from a Bishops side that has tagged and beaten champions side’s Paul Roos and Paarl Boys’ High in convincing fashion.
By Mike de Bruyn (Weekend Argus)