Grey College scored nine tries to cruise to a 51-28 victory in their annual derby against Paul Roos in Stellenbosch on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The record-winning margin puts a fitting end to Grey College’s season as they once again went through the year without a loss. Grey are now 33 games unbeaten and have won the last four derbies against Paul Roos.
In a heart-racing first half seven tries were scored between the two sides. It was an exceptional individual effort from Grey fullback Franco Knoetze that separated the sides at the break.
Grey got off to a dream start as Marcell Muller sped through a gap to open the scoring in just the fifth minute. However, the visitors then lost loosehead prop Tielman Nieuwoudt to a yellow card for a no-arms tackle. Paul Roos took immediate advantage as they hit back through tries from inside centre Ruben Labuschagne and No 8 Andre Smit.
Grey kept themselves in the game when wing JD Odendall did excellently to beat his man on the outside and score. They then regained the lead as flank Deon le Roux powered over in the corner.
Paul Roos went ahead just before the break as replacement lock Jordan Venter broke through from a lineout and scored under the posts. However, Knoetze regathered the ball after a try-saving tackle from Nieuwoudt and sprinted from his own tryline to score an exceptional try and put Grey 22-21 ahead at the break.
Grey extended their lead at the start of the second half when Muller reached over for his second try. Nieuwoudt then showed great pace to sprint through and spread the ball to Duan Ludik to add Grey’s sixth try of the match.
Ian Small-Smith then scored in the corner after an interception by Danwich Beukes to put Grey well in control with 15 minutes remaining.
Paul Roos gave themselves hope of a comeback when fullback Cade Croy got on the end of a floating pass from Kade Wolhuter to dot down in the 63rd minute. The game was sealed when flyhalf FC du Plessis sprinted clear from a turnover to dive in under the poles before replacement scrumhalf Tiaan Fourie brought up the half-century.
Paul Roos – Tries: Ruben Labuschagne, Andre Smith, Jordan Venter, Cade Croy. Conversion: Kade Wolhuter (4).
Grey College – Tries: Marcell Muller (2), JD Odendaal, Deon le Roux, Franco Knoetze, Duan Ludik, Ian Small-Smith, FC du Plessis, Tiaan Fourie. Conversion: Juan Dee Olivier, Knoetze, Du Plessis.
Paul Roos – 15 Cade Croy, 14 Ronin Daniels, 13 Luke Burger, 12 Ruben Labuschagne, 11 Andrew Pegg, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Xander Botha, 8 Andre Smit, 7 Calvyn Louis, 6 Arno Heenop, 5 Andreas Wild, 4 Daniel Swart, 3 Corne Weilbach, 2 Meiring Ebersohn, 1 Paul Spangenberg.
Grey College – 15 Franco Knoetze, 14 JD Odendaal, 13 Ian Small-Smith, 12 Lesley Botha, 11 Marcell Muller, 10 FC du Plessis, 9 Juan Dee Olivier, 8 Janco Cloete, 7 Deon le Roux, 6 Duan Ludik, 5 Danwich Beukes, 4 Hendre Kramer, 3 Petrus Naude, 2 Ricardo Fourie, 1 Tielman Nieuwoudt.
Photo: Kulu Ferreira/Kulu Ferreira Axtion Photography