Paarl Gym beat Paul Roos 23-21 in their Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools match in Stellenbosch on Saturday.
It was Paul Roos’s first competitive loss of the season.
Both sides came into the match in excellent form, with the No 1-ranked Paul Roos having won the Sanix World Youth Rugby Tournament and the No 18-ranked Paarl Gym having beaten Boland Landbou 39-0 last weekend.
Paarl Gym started the game strongly with fullback Naudé Wessels slotting an early penalty, before Paul Roos scored a converted try through inside centre Kristoff Baard.
The visitors then hit back with a try from winger Max Thalwitzer and another penalty to take an 11-7 lead into the break.
The second half was a cracker, with Paarl Gym racing into a 23-7 lead after tries from flyhalf Wian van Zyl and outside centre Charl du Toit.
The hosts then fought back to score two late tries through eighthman Malan Basson and flanker Roelf Burger, but fell two points short.
‘We didn’t start well, but executed our game plan better as the match progressed,’ Paarl Gym coach Christoff Lötter told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘Paul Roos were always going to come back, but we did enough to hold them out.’
‘It was always going to be a tight game,’ said Paul Roos coach Hein Kriek. ‘We didn’t respect the ball enough, and they were extremely good at the breakdown and played the territory game very well.
‘We were defending for most of the game, and the penalty we gave away just before half-time was crucial. Our team motto is “no excuses”, and we just weren’t good enough on the day.’
Paul Roos – Tries: Malan Basson, Kristoff Baard, Roelf Burger. Conversions: Baard (3).
Paarl Gym – Tries: Max Thalwitzer, Charl du Toit, Wian van Zyl. Conversion: George Lourens. Penalties: Naudé Wessels, George Lourens.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images