Paul Roos overturned an 11-point deficit to beat Helpmekaar 25-22, while there were also wins for Affies, Hilton, Nelspruit, Parktown and Paarl Boys’ on day two of the St John’s Festival.
In the most-anticipated contest of the day, Helpmekaar were quick out of the blocks, before a stinging second-half performance enabled Paul Roos to secure victory.
Helpies were in the ascendancy from the start and raced out to a 17-6 lead at the break. And they maintained that lead a third of the way through the second half, before the team from Stellenbosch launched a fightback.
Tries by JJ Kotze, Breyton Maritz and Remy Engelbrecht lifted the Maroon Machine to a thrilling victory over a gutsy Helpmekaar team, who were unlucky to be on the wrong end of the result.
In another pulsating encounter in which the lead changed hands no less than five times, Affies edged Florida 28-24. Outside centre Zach Briel scored a brace for Affies, but they were still trailing with two minutes left on the clock. But Affies didn’t panic and when they retained possession, fullback Heinrich Bisschoff broke Florida’s hearts when he crossed for the match-winning score.
In other results on day two, Hilton came out 28-19 victors against St John’s. The hosts trailed by 21 early on but a brace of tries from Julian Zille helped add some respectability to the scoreboard for St John’s.
In three one-sided clashes, Nelspruit blanked the Eye of the Tiger Academy 43-0, Parktown Boys’ thumped St John’s (Harare) 36-0 and Paarl Boys’ lashed NSW Combined High Schools 67-0. Boishaai fullback Abner van Reenen completed his first-half hat-trick within just 18 minutes.
Photo: St John’s Festival