Weakened Grey Bloem edge Paul Roos

Grey Bloem scored a last minute try to pip Paul Roos 36-35 in Stellenbosch on Saturday.

Grey Bloem’s unbeaten record was under threat in their final fixture of the year as they were missing four boys to the SA Schools side while two other players were sidelined with injuries. This included a settled flyhalf and centre pair combination and their Free State Craven Week and SA Schools wing, Ruwellyn Isbel, who picked up an injury in the Grey PE derby victory a fortnight ago. Paul Roos were only missing one play, WP U18 wing JP Lewis, who replaced Isbel in the SA Schools side.

But unlike 2009, when Grey Bloem lost 9-3 to Paul Roos without nine first-choice players (which remains their only loss in 83 games), they managed to pick up a win to retain a flawless run in 2011 and to claim the No 1 spot in the FNB rankings for the 13th time in the last 16 years. Paul Roos led 19-12 at half-time, and remained ahead until the death. But Grey Bloem fought back, narrowed the deficit and scored a try in the final minute of the match to win.