Paarl Gym will host Paul Roos on Saturday in the second Premier Interschools clash of the season. TYRONE ENGEL reports.
Paul Roos are coming off the back of a strong showing against Grey High in their Premier Interschools clash at the Markötter last weekend.
The hosts dominated the first half and then weathered a determined Grey fightback in the second to win 36-21, with captain and SA Schools flyhalf Damian Willemse putting in a Man of the Match performance.
Paul Roos have won four out of five games this season. They started with two big wins against Windhoek Gym (69-7) at home in March and Hilton (69-6) at the St John’s Easter Festival. They also beat Monument 14-11 at St John’s, but lost 24-17 to Affies in their last festival game.
Paarl Gym have won three of their four games, most recently beating Western Cape giants Boland Landbou 34-14 away from home to end their unbeaten run. They started their season with a crushing 52-0 win against Drostdy, and followed that up with a 35-10 win over Waterkloof at the North-South tournament in Garsfontein, before losing 15-13 to the hosts in the final match.
Paarl Gym have won three of their last five matches against Paul Roos since 2011.
Paul Roos 1st XV coach Stephan Jordaan said his players are looking forward to the challenge on Saturday and hoping to build on last weekend’s success.
‘The win against Grey High was great,’ Jordaan told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘Our forwards worked really hard and that gave us a platform to play from. Our backline was under a bit of pressure when we looked to run the ball and Grey were able to close us down out wide. That’s something we’ve been working on and will be looking to get right against Paarl Gym on Saturday. But we’ll need the foundation from the forwards, so we’ll be looking to do well in that area again.
‘Our kicking game worked well last week, but that’s not to say we’ll do the same this week,’ he added. ‘We want the boys to be able to make those decisions on the field, whether to run the ball or kick into space to get into a better position. We’ve got a great captain in Damian Willemse, who will certainly lead in that area.’
Jordaan said Paarl Gym were always a tough opponents, but even more so in front of their home crowd.
‘It’s always been a big rivalry against them and there will be 30 boys on the field giving it their best from the word go.
‘Our boys are enjoying the privilege of being able to play two Premier Interschools in consecutive weeks. They know it’s a big opportunity for them and they aren’t taking it for granted. And I don’t think the occasion is too big for them, they actually enjoy it.’
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