Centre Jurenzo Julius scored a late intercept try as Paul Roos fought back to produce a thrilling 26-24 victory over Paarl Gimnasium on the Jan Kriel Field in Paarl on Saturday.
With three minutes left to play, the powerful No 13 summed up the situation superbly before breaking away to score under the posts.
The visitors raced into a 6-0 lead through the boot of fullback Christoff de Bruyn before Gim fullback Johandre van Niekerk crossed the whitewash, and captain Philip-Albert van Niekerk added the extras to make it 7-6.
Another De Bruyn strike put Paul Roos back in front at the break, but prop Wilbur Loubser saw yellow after the restart and Gim replied with two quick tries from Waldo Hanekom and Dean Crouse. The hosts scored their fourth when Thyron Ross dotted down in the left corner to stretch the lead to 24-9.
Loubser then powered over for a try to make amends for his earlier transgression before Paul Roos skipper Herman Lourens added his name to the scoresheet, laying the groundwork for Julius’ heroics at the death.
“We worked hard … it started off rough this season after two losses,” man-of-the-match Julius said after the final whistle. “We just wanted to put things right and put the pride back in the jersey.
“It’s our last year and most of the boys are in matric, and didn’t want to go down without a fight – and today we showed why.
“We knew it was going to be tough, Gim were unbeaten. But the coaches told us at half time that ‘We got this’, and we kept on believing, and we got it.”
Paul Roos have pulled off a comeback for the ages. Coming back from 24-9 down deep in the second half to win 26-24 AT Paarl Gim, who defeated Grey College last week. That was a shocking second half from the home side, but kudos to Paul Roos on refusing to quit.
— Derek Alberts (@derekalberts1) May 7, 2022