Zander du Plessis kicked a late penalty to give Grey College a 28-26 win against Paul Roos in Bloemfontein on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
In a battle between the top two teams of South African schoolboy rugby, it was Grey College who came out victorious, continuing their winning run over their rivals from the Cape.
It is unfortunate that the game intersected the SA Schools match against England, as it robbed supporters of seeing both teams compete at full strength, but such is the depth of the sides that they were hardly disrupted by the absentees.
It was a tense opening to the game, with opposing flyhalves Kade Wolhuter and Du Plessis trading two penalties each before Wolhuter punished some poor discipline from Grey by adding a further couple of penalties.
On the verge of half-time, Grey got the opening try when prop Jan-Hendrik Wessels went close from a quick-tap penalty, before No 8 Werner Gouws collected a loose pass and muscled his way over to bring the hosts within a point.
However, Paul Roos hit back almost immediately, when versatile forward Mink Scharink, playing at tighthead prop, drove over from close range, with Wolhuter’s conversion giving them the lead.
Grey College worked their way upfield and lock George Cronjé ran a brilliant line on to a short pass from scrumhalf Ross Braude to dot down under the posts, but Paul Roos again responded through a pick-and-go try from loosehead Robbie Rodgers.
Du Plessis then slotted his third penalty to give his team the lead again with just five minutes to go, with Grey College winning a turnover after the hooter and ultimately the match to end their season unbeaten.
Grey College – Tries: Werner Gouws, Lesley Botha, George Cronjé. Conversions: Zander du Plessis (2). Penalties: Du Plessis (3).
Paul Roos – Tries: Mink Scharink, Robbie Rodgers. Conversions: Kade Wolhuter (2). Penalties: Wolhuter (4).
Photo: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Images