Grey College of Bloemfontein achieved the seemingly impossible on Saturday afternoon by beating the mighty Paarl Boys’ High School 34-20 in Paarl.
The win for the rugby factory snapped the 59-match unbeaten streak by Boishaai against South African opposition that stretched as far back as 2014.
Boishaai’s only two defeats heading into Saturday came against Hamilton Boys’ High School from New Zealand in 2014 during the final of the World Rugby Youth tournament in Japan, and against the Jaguares from Argentina during recent World Schools’ Tournament in Paarl earlier this year.
Boishaai got off to a brilliant start on Saturday with the flyhalf, Kian Meadon, collecting a chip kick to touch down and convert his own try for a 7-0 lead. The lead was wiped out almost immediately when De Wet Marais claimed the ball from the restart and scored in the corner for Grey. Zander du Plessis sent the following conversion straight through the uprights from the touchline to level matters.
After further exchanges between the two teams, Meadon eventually regained the lead for the hosts with a penalty. Grey refused to lie down and once again their reply was almost immediate. The fullback, Richard Kriel, sent the ball to the winger, Lesley Botha, who simply cracked on the pace to outsprint the Boishaai defence to the corner.
The impressive centre, Wyclef Vlitoor, offloaded Du Plessis, who is his turn sent the eighth-man, WJ Steenkamp, over for the third Grey try and a healthy 19-10 lead at the half time break.
The second stanza started with more of the same from Grey and it was not long after the break that the backline marshal, Du Plessis, beat numerous defenders to dot the ball down next to the uprights.
The hosts weren’t about to throw in the towel and responded well with the scrumhalf, Wian van der Sandt, taking a quick tap from a penalty 5 metres out and working his way across the line. Boishaai found the boost they were looking for and started applying more pressure on the visitors. This led to a second penalty via the boot of Meadon.
Du Plessis missed what seemed to the penalty which would seal the deal for the visitors and there was a growing sense that the next team to score would be the team to win the thrilling encounter.
Grey managed to ride out the pressure being applied by Boishaai and got themselves back into a position to score. In the 63rd minute, MJ Odendaal crashed over for Grey to secure a famous victory which will go down in the history books. Du Plessis landed a penalty on the stroke of full time to wrap up the proceedings.
Grey will host Selbourne College from East London next week in Bloemfontein, and this will start their build-up to the annual derby against Paul Roos Gymnasium from Stellenbosch.
Paul Roos has been impressive all season and is without a doubt the team to beat, along with Grey. On Saturday Paul Roos thumped Paarl Gymnasium 32-13 in Paarl for their first win over Gym since 2014.
The annual derby between Grey and Paul Roos will be contested on 18 August in Bloemfontein, and this match promises to be bigger and better than before.
Paarl Boys’ High: Tries – Kian Meadon, Wian van der Sandt. Conv. – Meadon 2 Pen. – Meadon 2.
Grey College: Tries – De Wet Marais, Lesley Botha, WJ Steenkamp, Zander du Plessis, MJ Odendaal Conv. – Du Plessis 3 Pen. – Du Plessis. – MORGAN PIEK