PAARL GIM OVERPOWER SACS
The South African College High School (SACS) travelled up the N1 to Paarl Gimnasium in the hope that their hosts would have one eye on Inter-Schools the following week. In addition difficult conditions for running and handling are always a great leveller. It proved to be the case for the first thirty-five minutes when SACS more than held their own but the sheer weight of the home eight proved too much in the end. The final score was 37-10 to Paarl Gim.
SACS kicked off deep and managed to pin the hosts in their half for the opening stanza. A few lost lineouts cost SACS the opportunity to exert more pressure but the teams appeared evenly matched with both teams prone to handling errors in slippery conditions. Gim had the odd surge up field and it was from one of these that they opened the scoring in the twenty-fifth minute through a penalty by fullback Grant Hermanus. The 2013 SA Schools fullback was returning from a long injury just in time for Inter-Schools, a match which he almost singlehandedly won for Gim in 2013.
Damian Rawstorne gathered a dropped ball and raced clear five minutes later. He looked sure to score but the cross cover brought him down under the Gim poles. Form the ensuing ruck, Gim were adjudged to be offside and Jordan Chait drew SACS level.
A costly error saw SACS crucially give Gim a chance to take the lead after the half-time hooter. SACS deserved to go in level but after kicking a 22-metre drop-out directly into touch Gim were awarded a midfield scrum. The hooter went as the scrum was fed. Gim did a loop play to the right and Hermanus beat his man to dot down and give the hosts a vital score and an 8-3 half-time lead.
Gim received some stern words from their coaches at the interval and noticeable upped the ante when play resumed. With a distinct weight advantage in the forwards and the light wind at their backs they played well for territory and used their forwards running hard off nine to suck in and tire the SACS defenders. Hermanus converted a penalty to make it 11-3 before two maul tries in the space of three minutes, both scored by captain and No. 8 HJ Luus, put the score beyond doubt at 25-3.
SACS remained positive in their approach throughout and were rewarded with a try by replacement Lecander Salies mid-way through the second half. SACS set a maul near the Gim line and almost drove their heavier opponent s over before spreading the ball wide for Salies to score a deserved team try.
SACS went close to scoring once more from a maul but Gim had the final say though with well worked tries by centre Taigh Schoor and tighthead Adriaan Geldenhuys.
Overall it was an entertaining game played in difficult conditions. Gim will be happy with most aspects of their play going into the defining game of their season while SACS can also take many positives despite the final scoreline.
Tries: Grant Hermanus, HJ Luus (2), Taigh Schoor and Adriann Geldenuys
Conversions: Hermanus (3)
Penalties (Hermanus (2)
Try: Lecander Salies
Conversion: Jordan Chait