Any thoughts Paarl Boys High might have had of a nice relaxed run-in to Interschools against Gimmies on 7 August went out of the window as they were made to sweat blood before seeing off enterprising visitors Oakdale 39-33 at Brug Street on Saturday.
The match started quietly enough, apart from Boishaai losing Craven Week lock Ryno van der Merwe with a shoulder injury, before Andreas Nel gave the Streeptruie a 3-0 lead from the tee in the tenth minute. This seemed to galvanise both sides as play started to swing from end to end like a pendulum on steroids, resulting in a flurry of points.
Next on the board was the hosts’ No.8 François Basson, who barged over close to the uprights, making Nel’s conversion a formality (10-0). By way of response, Bulle flyhalf Christiaan Willemse opened the visitors’ account with two relatively straightforward penalties in quick succession midway through the half (10-6).
The Oakdale forwards were starting to take the game to a rather disjointed home pack and justice was served when formidable tighthead Kabous van Schalkwyk stormed over. Willemse’s conversion put his team ahead 13-10, only for Nel to square matters with a penalty (13-13).
A superb solo effort on the half-hour mark from WP Craven Week scrumhalf Jean Nel, who broke just inside the Oakdale half and dummied his way past several despairing defenders on his way in under the crossbar, provided Nel with the opportunity to put his side 20-13 up.
The Riversdale lads, renowned for great fightbacks on their recent visits to Paarl, obliged once again, centre Michael Bernardt going on a brilliant jinking run which ended in him handing the ball inside to right wing Jandri Meyer, who was only required to fall over the line in the corner. Willemse’s conversion, virtually from touch, leveled the scores at again 20-20 and he gladly added a penalty, which was ruled over by the referee, a few minutes later to put Oakdale ahead 23-20 at the change-over.
The early exchanges in the second period saw both flyhalves miss comparatively easy penalties, before Boishaai delivered a double blow which ultimately proved decisive. First captain and lock Takkies Reitz forced his way over for an unconverted try, then right wing Arthur Festus intercepted a pass 60 metres out to canter in unchallenged. Two points from Nel gave the hosts a 32-23 advantage with eighteen minutes to go.
Back came the relentless Bulle once again. Willemse slotted his fourth penalty and converted lock Rudi Snyman’s try after powerful forward play to snatch back the lead 33-32.
However, heartbreak time came four minutes from the end when Boishaai left wing JP le Roux registered his team’s fifth try after an eight man drive had ended in a five metre scrum. Andreas Nel’s boot had the final word as far as the scoreboard operators were concerned and the locals were mightily relieved 39-33 victors.
Boishaai were at pretty well full strength apart from in the hooking berth, in which department injuries necessitated a call-up for their fourth choice, and at fullback, where multi-talented utility back Ruben van Zyl and, in the latter stages, the returning Niel Maritz deputised more than capably for regular choice Rhyno Smith. That said, this outing gives the Brug Street Brigade plenty of reason for self-examination, particularly among the loose trio, who were under enormous pressure throughout from François van der Vyfer and his partners.
By Tony Stoops
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.