Paarl Boys’ fullback Gianni Lombard says he surprised himself with his performance against Affies at the Wildeklawer Super Schools Festival. TYRONE ENGEL reports.
The 18-year-old scored 55 of his side’s 80 points in their two matches against Waterkloof and Affies.
In the first game against Waterkloof, which Boishaai won 51-5, Lombard scored 26 points, including two tries, five conversions and two penalties. He scored all of his side’s 29 points in a 29-25 win against Affies, with two tries, two conversions and five penalties. Lombard was named Man of the Match on both occasions.
‘I was a little nervous before the festival, because I’ve never played on such a big stage before,’ Lombard told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘But it was a great experience being part of it.
‘I definitely surprised myself against Affies,’ Lombard added. ‘I didn’t really have words [to explain it] at the time, I was just thankful I could do that for the team.
‘It feels amazing to be part of this unbeaten team. We all support each other. It’s like a family with everyone working towards the same goal. It’s a good environment to be a part of.’
Lombard played for Western Province at the U16 Grant Khomo Week in 2014, taking last year off to focus on athletics before returning to rugby in 2016.
‘My goals for this year are, firstly, to keep my place in the 1st XV for Paarl Boys’ and from there to make the WP U18 Craven Week and SA Schools teams,’ he said.
Lombard, who is currently in matric, wants to play Currie Cup and Super Rugby within the next five years.