Paarl Gimnasium claimed a 41-12 victory over Hartpury at the World Schools Festival in Stellenbosch. DYLAN JACK reports.
The scoreline does not tell the entire story, as Gimmies were certainly not as dominant as the result suggests.
The Paarl team was well matched in the first half by their English opponents, but ran away with the game in the second through braces from wing Stravino Jacobs and centre Stephan du Toit.
Gimmies started superbly as Tiaan Swanepoel cut a gap through the Hartpury backline before offloading to Dylan Alexander, who finished off the try in the corner.
However, the game was evenly matched from then on as the Hartpury boys slowed the tempo down and attacked the Gimmies defence around the fringes.
It was exactly this approach that brought them their first try when the Gloucester side went close from a driving maul, and after sucking in the defenders with a number of pick-and-goes, outside centre Sam Grimshaw muscled his way over, Isaac Marsh’s conversion giving them the lead.
Gimmies hit straight back after a short drinks break after some poor defending allowed inside centre Stephan du Toit to get around his man and score, but Hartpury continued undeterred and levelled the scores at 12-12 when loosehead prop Jack Brinn powered over the line.
Paarl Gym piled on the pressure towards the end of the half, but were well contained as Hartpury held out.
The Cape side carried their momentum into the second half as a cross-kick was gathered and dotted down by experienced wing Stravino Jacobs, before Du Toit rolled out of a tackle for his brace.
Hartpury were struggling to deal with the pace of the game in the second half, as Paarl Gim upped their intensity and extended their lead through Jacobs’ well-worked try from right wing Curwin Gertse. Replacement flyhalf Jandre Burger then went over after the hooter to seal the win.
Paarl Gim – Tries: Dylan Alexander, Stephan du Toit (2), Stravino Jacobs (2), Jandre Burger. Conversions: Johan Smal, Tiaan Swanepoel (2)
Hartpury – Tries: Sam Grimshaw, Jack Brinn. Conversion: Isaac Marsh.
Photo: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Images