PJ Olivier Hoërskool First Rugby side won the first of the annual home and away derbies against Port Alfred High School (PAHS) on Saturday 13 April. PJ claimed a narrow 18-17 win in their titanic battle at the PJ Olivier Sports Grounds.
The much anticipated derby, as expected, was played at a high tempo; hard and very physical. The large crowd came out in their numbers and were not disappointed as they witnessed some exciting and entertaining running rugby for both the talented and skilful teams. The reserve full back of PJ, James May, clinched the game for his side in the last minute of the game with a 35m penalty kick. This happened to be the winning kick and handed PJ a well deserved 18-17 win.
The first half was very tight with both teams making unforced errors. PAHS fullback dotted down first with a try in the first half while flyhalf Alanzo Gysman replied for PJ in the 15th minute to level matters. Thereafter, PJ’s big and strong eighthman, Brendon Gouws, neatly collected the ball at the back of the scrum to score. With this movement, the visitors kept a 10-5 lead.
The second half saw the visitors use more of their bigger forwards to set up phases but could not convert in to points. PJ’s winger Nickwin Plaaitjies dove over in the right hand corner to extend their lead to 15-5. PAHS staged a comeback with a penalty try in the 30th minute as well as a try by their winger in the 33rd minute of the second half, to take the lead for the first time in the match.
With two minutes left in the match, scores read 17-15 in favour of the visitors. PJ were on the attack with the visitors penalised for two offences (first offside then a high tackle) in the last minute of the game. May stepped forward and slotted the 35m penalty kick high between the post. With seconds remaining, PJ secured the kick off and later kicked the ball out after the end whistle, securing the close fought 18-17 victory.
St Mary’s U/11 beat PJ (10-5)
St Mary’s U/13 beat PJ (24-5)
PAHS U/15 beat PJ (28-17)