On a very cold Saturday afternoon with a strong wind and pouring rain, the two neighbouring schools met on the farm. The rugby was a tad unexciting but the rain in the Boland was fantastic. The most excitement on the day was the rain falling down and for that, I am very grateful.
The match was definitely not good enough to make me sit on the edge of my seat, but with rain and wind like this, we could not expect anything else. Both teams kicked a lot, but Landbou just used this tactic better than Gim. The scrumhalf of Landbou dictated the game with some fantastic kicking and placed Gim under immense pressure at the back.
Gim started the match at a very fast pace and made Landbou defend their line for quite a while until the right wing of Gim crossed the line after 10 minutes to score next to the upright and Gim converted to make the score 7-0. Landbou were hitting back hard after that and spent a lot of time in Gim’s half. Gim defended well but had two opportunities to get out of their half just to miss the line kicks and allowing Landbou to run it back at them.
With 12 minutes left in the first half, Landbou forced Gim into another handling error and were awarded an attacking scrum 5 meters from the Gim try line. They used this opportunity and went over in the corner for a five-pointer. The kick was unsuccessful and the score was 7-5 to Gim with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Gim continued to make handling errors and 6 minutes later Landbou had another 5-meter scrum and we had the same result with the right wing scoring in the corner for Landbou. The conversion was successful and Landbou were leading halftime 12-7.
The second half will favour Landbou as they will play with the wind and it also started raining a bit harder than it was in the first half. If Gim has any chance to save this match they will have to make fewer mistakes on attack and keep the ball for longer periods.
Early in the second half Gim conceded a penalty within kicking range and Landbou added another 3 points to lead 15-7. The Landbouboys went crazy on the pavilion and you could hear the belief in their voices as they continued to sing and cheer.
Gim did not lie down and immediately applied the pressure back from the kickoff and it was not long until Muller du Plessis the fullback and captain of Gim kicked an excellent kick across the field to his wing that kept it infield and saw the Gim flyhalf diving over in the corner. The kick was unsuccessful but with the score now 15-12 to Landbou you could almost hear the nervousness on the pavilion from both sides supporters' as this match could go either way now.
Gi, however, continued to make mistakes and before they knew it they were without their inside centre who received a yellow card and Landbou kicked another two penalties to put the pressure back on Gim to score twice if they wanted to win this game. The score was now 21-12 to Landbou and Gim had their backs to the wall with only 17 minutes left.
One could see that the pressure was on Gim as they received two penalties which they played quickly just to lose possession twice by not holding onto their ball. They also had two opportunities to kick the ball out for an attacking lineout, but both kicks saw them only winning 5 meters as the ball slid off the kicker's boot in embarrassment.
The Landbou defence was brilliant throughout the match and Gim could just not break the advantage line to try and create any pressure. They did manage to force a penalty which they converted to close the gap to 6 points. The score now 21-15 to Landbou with just 10 minutes left.
The last 10 minutes saw Gim trying everything to stay in the Landbou half of the field, but Landbou continued to kick the ball back at Gim and waited for them to make mistakes. Gim again conceded a penalty within kicking range and Lanbou once again punished them by adding 3 points on the board and basically securing the win with only 1 minute of play left. The score now 24-15 to Landbou.
When finally the end whistle blew and Landbou beating Gim for the first time since 2009 all the Landbou scholars took to the field to congratulate their friends. There were some pushing and shoving after the whistle, but it came to rest quite quickly as the players shook hands.
The best team on the day won, Gim made just too many mistakes, conceded too many penalties that cost them points and didn’t use the opportunities they had. Landbou were much more aggressive on defence, made less handling errors and used their kicking tactics far better than their opponents.
Paarl Gimnasium will face the dominating Paarl Boishaai next in their yearly Premier Inter-Schools match on 05 August 2017. They will definitely need to sit down and make some changes if they have any chance of stopping Boishaai from winning their third consecutive Inter-Schools match.
JM van der Sandt