PREMIER INTERSCHOOLS MATCH REPORT: Affies vs Paarl Gymnasium
Affies overturned a nine-point first-half deficit, downing Paarl Gim in Pretoria
Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies) put in a strong second-half performance to narrowly edge Paarl Gimnasium (Gim) 29-26 in the Premier Interschools clash in Pretoria on Saturday. Halftime: Affies 10-19 Paarl Gim. The visitors played some enterprising and attacking rugby from the first minute, as their attempts to crack a clinical defensive Affiies backline failed. The Pretoria-based side drew first blood when the Paarl Gim were penalised at ruck time. Affies captain and goalkicker Stiaan Heymans opted for poles and slotted with ease, 3-0.
Paarl Gim thought they were over for their first try when wing Johandre van Niekerk crossed the whitewash, the try was however ruled out when van Niekerk’s foot was adjudged to have a foot in touch. It was however not too long when the Paarl Gim did get their first try of the match. Midfielder Philip-Albert van Niekerk dotting with ease, Liam Koen added the extras, handing the team from Paarl a 3-7 lead.
The physicality of the Affies forward pack outmuscled the Paarl Gim forwards, this soon paid dividends when a rolling maul allowed hooker Hanro Venter to cross for Affies’ first try and the first of his hattrick. Heymans added the extras, reclaiming the lead for the home side, 10-7. As the final ten minutes of the first half approached, winger Johandre van Niekerk eventually added his name to the scoring sheet when he crossed in the left corner, Koen missing the conversion attempt, 10-12.
Paarl Gim would have the final say in the first half when fullback Shaun Ray extended the visitors’ lead when he crossed the try line for Paarl Gim’s third try, Koen making no mistake with his conversion attempt this time. Paarl Gim enjoyed a comfortable nine-point cushion as the players headed into the tunnel for the halftime break, 10-19. The visitors’ first half momentum continued in the opening few minutes of the second half. A rolling maul resulted in second-rower Danio Botha being rewarded with a try, Koen added the extras, 26-10.
At this moment it looked as if Paarl Gim were going to claim the victory, enjoying a commanding 16-point lead as the final 20 minutes of the match drew nearer. Affies’ remarkable comeback started around the 50th minute when the talented Venter scored his second try after collecting the ball at the back of a rolling maul. Heymans reduced Paarl Gim’s deficit back to just nine points, 17-26. Venter completed his hattrick just minutes after his second try, Heymans missing his conversion attempt, 22-26.
In the final ten minutes, Affies would go on to reclaim the lead for the first time in the second half when prop Zack Marirtz roared across the try line, Heymans’ successful attempt meant the home side would have a narrow three-point lead heading into the final five minutes, 29-26. Paarl Gim had the opportunity to level matters and possibly force a draw but they opted for the lineout instead, Affies’ defensive resolve holding firm and keeping the Cape Town side out and denying them a win in Pretoria. Final score: Affies 29-26 Paarl Gim. SupaQuick Man of the Match: Hanro Venter
- Tries: Hanro Venter (3), Zack Marirtz
- Cons: Stiaan Heymans (3)
- Pens: Heymans
Paarl Gim: 26
Tries: Philip-Albert van Niekerk, Johandre van Niekerk, Shaun Ray, Danio Botha
Cons: Liam Koen (3)
Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool: 15 Migael De Lange, 14 Stephan Brits, 13 Tiaan De Wet, 12 Heinrich Horn, 11 Marx Nel, 10 Stiaan Heymans (c), 9 Armand Shahia, 8 Beyers Roos, 7 Dieter Schubert, 6 Ewan van Heerden, 5 Andreas Burger, 4 Erick Jooste, 3 Zack Marirtz, 2 Hanro Venter, 1 Luchan Mouton
Paarl Gimnasium: 15 Shaun Ray, 14 Enzo Labuschagne, 13 Janeil Losper, 12 Phillip-Albert van Niekerk (c), 11 Johandre van Niekerk, 10 Liam Koen, 9 Enrique Liedeman, 8 Dean Crouse, 7 Keanu Coetsee, 6 Willie De Waal, 5 Danio Botha, 4 Slabbert Maartens, 3 Bernard Bladergroen, 2 Luca Bakkes, 1 Jean Fourie