Grey College confirmed their ranking as the top school in the country in emphatic fashion by thumping the No 2 side, Affies, 23-6 in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.
Affies were still in the game, 13-6 down at half-time, but after the break it was all Grey and the hosts never really looked like adding to their points tally.
The big Affies pack more than held their own in the first half and they had the greater share of both territory and possession, but they were let down by some pretty average tactical kicking and when they did manage to put one or two promising backline movements together, they ran into a solid Grey defence.
It was a tackle early in the second half that basically clinched the game for Grey, centre Paul Jordaan knocked his opposite number a good 5m backwards and after he groggily returned to his feet the fizz seemed to go out of the Affies backs and Grey’s speedsters began to entertain the big crowd for the rest of the game.
Affies were first on the board via a Warren Gilbert penalty in the fourth minute after which Affies stayed on attack, without reward, before Grey’s Johan Goosen slotted two penalties to put his side 6-3 up.
The first try of the game came in the 27th minute – Grey fullback, Neil Marais, executed a classic handoff, ran around one opponent and over another to cross in the corner. Goosen converted from the touchline to put Grey 13-3 up and then Gilbert added late penalty for Affies, making it 13-6 at half-time.
In the second half the Grey forwards began to take control. They stole a number of lineouts, and counter rucked well. Goosen added another penalty and the Grey backs began moving the ball about. They were rewarded with a try by left wing Inus Keyser, again converted by Goosen from the touchline, to make it 26-3 in the end.
In a game involving the top two sides in the country one tends to look out for future stars and several stuck their hands up on Saturday. On the side of Grey fullback Marais, centres Jordaan and William Small-Smith and flank Tyron Schultz were prominent.
For Affies no one got through more work than eighthman Nardus Van der Walt. Scrumhalf Poerie van Rooyen is also one to watch, as are lock Schalk Van Heerden and prop Johann Ruatenbach.