Replacement Christopher Schreuder nailed a conversion in stoppage time to guide Grey College to magnificent 34-32 win over Paul Roos in their Classic Clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Grey looked destined to suffer their second defeat of the season as Paul Roos led 32-22 with three minutes on the clock, but the hosts worked their way back into the game to complete a thrilling comeback.
Schreuder came on to the field as a replacement and turned the match around. He scored the try to close the gap to five. From the restart, Grey secured possession and found themselves attacking inside the opposition 22. There was a knock-on, but instead of simply kicking the ball into touch for the win, Paul Roos’s winger deliberately threw the ball over the line and conceded a penalty. From there, Grey took a quick tap and stormed over the line to level matters.
The match-deciding kick fell to Schreuder and the fullback held his nerve to add the conversion, which sent his teammates and the crowd into ecstasy.
Following last weekend’s loss to Boland Landbou at the Markötter in Stellenbosch, Paul Roos had a point to prove. And for 70 minutes, they were well on their way to doing just that. But an error in judgement and a lapse in defence in stoppage time cost them dearly.
Grey have been outstanding this year and prior to this result, their only loss was against the all-conquering Paarl Boys’ High. In Bloem on Saturday, Grey started confidently, but Paul Roos produced an excellent defensive display to curb the hosts, while also making the most of their minimal attacking opportunities.
Flyhalf Mario Vieira opened the scoring with a well-struck drop goal, but the Maroon Machine, against the run of play, scored three first-half tries through inside centre Aiden Topley, flyhalf Joshua Vermeulen and loosehead Cameron Dawson to lead 19-10 at the break.
Grey continued to dominate possession and territory and were next to score via hooker Matthew Wessels, but the trend of scoring and then conceding continued as a 10-point haul edged Paul Roos further ahead at 29-15.
The game broke open as both sides took a liking to the ball-in-hand approach, as opposed to kicking for territory, which benefited Grey.
The fightback started with a self-converted try from Vieiri and while opposite number Vermeulen would add two penalties for Paul Roos, Grey would have the final say in the dying minutes after a string of shrewd replacements.
Grey College – Try: David Kriel, Matthew Wessels, Mario Vieira, Christopher Schreuder, TBC. Conversions: Vieira (2), Schreuder. Drop goal: Vieira.
Paul Roos – Tries: Aiden Topley, Josh Vermeulen, Cameron Dawson, Tiaan Coetzee. Conversions: Vermeulen (3). Penalties: Vermeulen (3).
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images