Grey got out of jail against Gimmies for the second year running on day one of the Wildeklawer Tournament, while Affies righted last year’s loss against Paarl Boys’ with a 25-10 victory.
Closing out the day, Affies controlled all facets of the game despite a resolute resistance from Paarl Boys’, spearheaded by fullback Rhyno Smith, who scored all 10 of their first-half points. But, in the face of two Affies tries, it would not be enough to take the lead into the halftime break, trailing 15-10.
Paarl needed a strong passage of play to open the second-half and flyhalf Andreas Nel repeatedly tested the Affies defense, but an improved cohesion amongst their forwards – eighthman Janse van Rensburg a standout – slowed down Boishaai momentum.
Forced to defend, they were worn down by fantastic ball retention from the Affies pack, who laid the foundation for inside centre Jaco Fourie’s try. Hanco Deale converted and added penalty to close out a 15-point win.
Earlier Paarl Gimnasium repeated their 2010 blunder, squandering a half-time lead against Grey College in the penultimate fixture of day one. 3-0 up but evenly matched, Gimmies missed a penalty and Grey wing Francois Pretorius scored an unconverted try. The match swung back in Grey’s favor. Two further misses for Paarl Gim and a successful penalty extended the Bloem boys’ lead to 8-3. Paarl then gave the ball greater flight than in the first-half, and outside centre Wesley Cupido was rewarded with a converted try in the corner.
At 10-8 up and with time ticking away, Gimmies were staring down an historic win. But ill discipline gave Grey a lifeline, two penalties leaving Paarl on the wrong end of a 14-10 scoreline which, despite their tryline encampment during the dying stages, they could not right.
In other results, Marlow benefitted from the larger share of possession, airing the ball in the opening match of the 2011 tournament. 26-7 up at half-time, they ran away with the match 66-12, with flanker Ricky van Straaten scoring a hat-trick.
The hosts were similarly dominant in their 47-10 thrashing of Framesby. Despite a scorless opening 10, Diamantveld went into the second-half leading 28-0. Framesby did not roll over willingly, scoring two tries of their own shortly after the break, but it would not be enough to curb the home side’s first-half momentum.
With greater accuracy before the posts the 28-point gap between Middelburg and Outeniqua could easily have been stretched. Outeniqua struggled with the Red Bulls’ frenetic opening pace, finding themselves 24-0 down at the break. Despite an improvement by Outeniqua in the second-half, Middelburg’s lead only grew, eventually winning 38-10.
Dominating the first-half, Boland failed to convert pressure to points and went into the second half trailing 7-6 against Monument. A break against the run of play from Monument outside centre Shaun Conradie broke the back of the Boland spirit. He would go on to score another two tries in quick succession to stretch Monument’s lead to 28-6. Boland had no reply, and Monument ran away with proceedings 40-13.
Glenwood led 22-15 at half-time in their clash with EG Jansen, with the sides regularly exchanging tries. An EG Jansen try had the Green Machine in danger of suffering an upset, locking the sides at 22 apiece, but a try each to Tom Siyabonga (wing) and Carel Swart (eighthman) closed out the match 32-22.
Wing Duncan Matthews’ try within the first minute of play set the tone for Waterkloof’s dominance over Paul Roos: absolute and founded by a speed the Stellenbosch side simply couldn’t match. The Gauteng side ran in eight tries to Paul Roos’ one in their 48-10 win.
DAY ONE: Saturday, 30 April:
Wildeklawer Invitation 12 Marlow 66
Diamantveld 47 Framesby 10
Middelburg 38 Outeniqua 10
Monument 40 Boland Landbou 13
Glenwood 32 EG Jansen 22
Waterkloof 48 Paul Roos 10
Grey College 14 Paarl Gimnasium 10
Paarl Boys’ High 10 Affies 25