SACS face Gimmies juggernaut

Paarl Gym look set to make it a hat-trick of wins in their travels to the southern suburbs of Cape Town when they tackle SACS on Saturday.

Gym should have little difficulty in extending their unbeaten run in the Premier League to four games in what for them should be a landslide win against a side clearly out of their depths in this league.

SACS have been well-beaten in all matches to date, and last weekend suffered their biggest defeat yet when mauled at home 71-3 by Paul Roos. And now they have to contend with a Gym side fresh off a 101-0 demolished job over a hapless Wynberg. Gym, who began their assault in the southern suburbs with a nine-try 59-6 win over Rondebosch, notched up another 15 tries against Wynberg at a rate of one every four minutes in a performance so dominant it’s sure to have struck fear into the hearts and minds of the SACS boys.

But there will be no place to hide for the home side as they prepare to take on the current No 2 ranked school in the country. Grey Bloem, who beat Gym 23-12 in a rare meeting between these two champion rugby schools, sit on top the FNB Top 20 South African schools rankings released earlier this week. Another Cape side, Bishops, are third-placed, making next weekend’s clash between the two Cape sides in Paarl a mouth watering prospect.

Like Gym, Bishops, who next entertain Wynberg, have enjoyed a great season so far with morale-boosting wins achieved over Paarl Boys’ High (12-11 away) and Paul Roos (33-23 home win after overturning over a 9-20 deficit with 20 minutes to play) – the only blemish to a perfect start being an unfortunate 12-13 loss away to Boland Landbou brought on by a couple of refereeing blunders (later admitted to by the referee in a meeting with Bishops’ coaching staff) after outscoring their rivals two tries to nil. But last time out they flattered to deceive when edging past an underrated Stellenberg side 15-9, which had coach Dave Mallett spitting blood as he read his players the riot act afterwards.

Taking victory for granted is something the Bishops boys just can’t seem to shed, and until such time they show the same application and fortitude ingrained in Gym sides past and present, will never quite realise their full potential.

When Gym went about dishing out a rugby lesson to Wynberg, never once did they relax their focus and grip in a one-sided contest. And it was something to behold listening to the players encouraging one another on for maximum effort. It was a menacing performance of total rugby, played with total commitment and the passion one associates with this fine rugby school and one baring all the traits of a well-coached side, something that seems to be sadly lacking at a couple of the southern suburbs schools.

Gym’s winning margin against SACS will depend solely on how much heart and effort the home side brings to the contest. If SACS can limit the damage to 40 points or less, they can walk away with their heads held high, unlike Wynberg, who showed little or no passion for the jersey, and fight in the face of adversity, in delivering the school their heaviest loss ever.

And if Bishops are to make Gym sit up and take notice of them as a possible threat, they must deliver a massive win over Wynberg.

By Mike de Bruyn (Cape Argus)