Paarl Gim thrashed the Africa Pacific Dragons 50-24 at the World Schools Festival in Stellenbosch on Tuesday. DYLAN JACK reports.
While Paarl Gim named a side with first-team regulars such as scrumhalf Bobby Alexander on the bench, they still managed to put in an impressive showing in the first match of the festival.
The invitational Dragons, though, should get a lot of credit for taking the game to the Paarl team and consistently giving as good as they got.
The match provided an entertaining end to the first day of the festival, and while the South African teams have looked in fine fettle, it was good to see them being better matched than they were last year, with some of the better overseas teams still to play on Wednesday.
Paarl Gim were dominant early on, opening the scoring through lock Wikus Janse van Rensburg, who somehow managed to reach over and ground the ball despite the attention of a number of defenders.
Some poor defending then allowed Paarl Gim outside centre Jacques Moller to step through a number of tacklers and score their second of the day. Gimmies wing Stravino Jacobs then ran an excellent line on to a pass from fullback Matthew Jacobs as the Cape side began to run riot.
The Dragons, however, responded with some pressure of their own and managed to get a try when hooker Jone Waisake sniped around a ruck and went over for their first of the day.
That didn’t affect Gim’s momentum, and they got a fourth try when fast hands saw No 8 Josh Kirsten cross the chalk in the corner. To their credit, the Dragons came back again and scored their second through wing Tevita Ofa.
Gimmies extended their lead early in the second half through Kirsten’s second try, which was slightly controversial as it appeared that his knee had hit the ground and he then made a double movement in grounding the ball.
Again the Dragons responded as outside centre David Kalekale read an attacking play perfectly and ran in an intercept try from inside his half. They were behind their posts minutes later, however, as a good period of pressure saw Jacobs claim his brace.
Paarl Gim’s attacking ambitions then came back to hurt them as they tried to run from inside their own 22 and coughed the ball up, allowing Dragons replacement Shane van Wyk to run in an easy try.
The end-to-end nature of the game continued as Prevann Isaacs took advantage of a sleepy Dragons defence to slip around a ruck and ran in a try before Gimmies fullback Matthew Jacobs grabbed another to bring up the half-century.
Paarl Gim – Tries: Wikus Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Moller, Stravino Jacobs (2), Josh Kirsten (2), Prevann Isaacs, Matthew Jacobs. Conversions: Jandre Burger (4), Stephan du Toit.
Africa Pacific Dragons – Tries: Jone Waisake, Tevita Ofa, Shane van Wyk. Conversions: Hoera Stephenson (2).
Photo: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Images